Can’t we all just get along?

There’s a lot of thoughts going through my mind as I type this post. I really hope I can string together something that will stick to our main topic today, but it might be tough because I’m not sure where to even start dissecting the problem. I’m not going to be witty with this introduction. A bunch of republicans were shot up by some nutcase Bernie supporter this past week. Representative Scalise is still day-to-day on his recovery, and the media has moved on to continue their report on the completely fake “Russia” scandal. I am not one of those people who can simply move on from this politically motivated crime, and it has me truly worried about the state of politics in this country. Can we ever come back to a point where we can just tolerate each other for our different political beliefs?

Now don’t think I’m turning into some hippy over here. I’m still a conservative, and I’ll continue to criticize liberal ideals that I find far-fetched. However, I will never try to prevent a person from expressing their liberal views. I will never try to target a person simply because he or she didn’t vote for the same candidate that I did. I will never try to incite violence against non-conservatives. I will never do any of these things simply because they are not moral things to do. Every person has a right to live their life in the best way that he or she can, so long as it is not detrimental to the well-being of another. It is this spirit of individuality that continues to make us all unique from one another and allows us to continue fostering progress for our species through the exchange of different ideas and philosophies. That’s how this wonderful nation was formed in the first place. Where has that spirit gone?

I don’t know the answer to that question. Frankly, I wish we could return to a state of healthy debate. If everything was completely conservative, we would lose that sense of empathy for the suffering of others. If everything was completely liberal, the government would hold the ultimate sway over its people and their livelihoods. We cannot hope to improve our society by blaming the other side and refusing to come to the other side. However, it seems that the media wants us to move away from that ideal. Facebook got in trouble a few years back for encouraging its news team to push conservative articles to bottom of their “Top News” list. Buzzfeed lost all credibility when it published a false report during the campaign that was meant to scandalize Trump. CNN continues to push a fake Russia collusion story that is now seven months in the making with no solid evidence. As opposed to reporting on facts, these media sources use their coverage to push agendas. Anything that would oppose the reports is ignored or under-reported. If you’re a conservative, the big-time media sources are not your friend.

Hell, it seems that if you’re a conservative in today’s America, you’re just a target. Don’t believe me? Shakespeare in the Park put on a wonderful production of “Julius Caesar” over the weekend where the role of Caesar was played by a Donald Trump lookalike. Nothing says “art” quite like the stabbing of a live Trump effigy. Don’t be too concerned though. The production company assured everyone that this play was not meant to incite violence against the President. That’s a relief. Well, looks like the theater isn’t a good place to go. Maybe a conservative like myself should just stick to pro-Trump rallies. Hopefully ANTIFA doesn’t show up. You know, ANTIFA? The group that dresses all in black, wears masks, and takes pride in beating up those crazy right-wingers. Their attacks on pro-Trump marches have had varying degrees of “success” in terms of damage to persons and property. I’m sure they’re all good people who are up for a healthy debate after they try to set your MAGA hat on fire.

Don’t take this piece as a condemnation of liberals. I have plenty of liberal friends and know that most people’s political views will not suddenly cause them to stop treating their fellow man with respect and dignity. Rather, I’m writing this post to try to say that politics isn’t and shouldn’t be the only thing we use to judge each other’s worth. Disagreement is a healthy thing, so long as it does not become toxic. I think what we’re seeing in this country is a media that is furthering the divide between liberal and conservative through its malicious and opinion-driven reporting. They want to see toxic disagreement because it’s good for business. Everyone loves a little drama after all.

If you’re reading this, I urge you not to get caught up in the media hype. If you’re truly passionate about political beliefs, then ask yourself why you believe or don’t believe in certain ideals, and don’t use the same answer that some media pundit gave. Furthermore, ask yourself if you are able to accept anyone who has an idea that goes against yours. If you are incapable of accepting a differing opinion, then look inwardly. The problem may not be the politician. It may be you. And if you really think that violence against your fellow citizens will solve your political grievances, then just go see your local counselor.

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