Writing about politics is a slippery slope. No matter what you write, people will take offense and wage war on your blog, your facebook post, your twitter account.
They will attack you as a person, strip you of any character, make you afraid to voice your opinion in a country that prides itself on “the right to free speech.”
You might be friends with those people, or they might be complete strangers, but either way, they are out for your blood. They want to see you burned at the stake for daring to disagree or question.
We are obsessed with war. We thrive off beating someone until they are down. We go to war with ideas–the War on Terror, the War on Poverty. We apply this soldier mentality to our lives on social media, rallying up our troops and hiding behind the trench of the computer screen, until the person we disagree with deletes a post and blocks your number.
Everything is a full scale war. Nothing is simply a disagreement, or an argument, or even a battle. It is an entire military grade war. People will attack other’s opinions publicly on the internet, shaming them, and seeing the opposing side wither and run out of points to make.
I am not saying that all Americans are guilty of blasting their political opinions on social media and attacking their “friends'” posts publicly, so that everyone can see how willing they are to “defend their right to free speech” even if it means that other people cannot defend theirs.
Most humble people will keep their thoughts on politics to themselves and enjoy in friendly debate in real life settings, like dinner parties, coffee dates, afternoons at the park, where politics is not a war, but more of a United Nations side meeting, where both parties are heard and both leave the conversation still in one piece and still friends.
What scares me the most is how quickly people will switch raging opinions and abandon their own beliefs. A few months ago, my social media exploded with #BlackLivesMatter after the sad series of stories about police brutality against black citizens in certain cities. To further attribute to our war mentality, our local police and their military gear wage war on minorities. My favorite angle on police militarization is by John Oliver. Today, I ran into posts about the Charleston shooting, from the same people that posted about the injustice of Ferguson, MO, posted pictures of the Charleston shooter going about his daily life before the shooting, with a caption that said “Why doesn’t CNN post pictures like this, like they would if he was African-American.”
Screeech. Hold the phone. This shooter stated that he wanted to kill black people–what happened to #BlackLivesMatter? What is up with the violent switch of opinion, people? Do we really need to have an angry cause for every tragedy that happens in America? Are we that confused as a nation that we need to mindlessly click “share” every time we see something controversial?
We are so far removed from the rest of the world that we do not see how much we are our own demise. Jon Stewart laid out the facts about the Charleston shooting in this recent episode.
Racism is a very real issue in America, even if we consider ourselves progressive. Our war on racism should not involve guns, it should involve change. But we could not change that much within the past eight years because of our war on President Obama–the man who could change America.
I am appalled at how willing we are to put on our blinders and wage war on our own people. Charleston is a racial issue, and I am terrified to think that Fox News claimed that it is a “War on Christianity.”
Really? We take such a serious topic, like racism, and turn it into propaganda for our own agenda? I get that Fox News was just trying to do its job, but it seems to me, a white Jewish girl living in the Bible Belt, a war on Christianity in such a Christian nation is silly. This is the same network that decided there was a war on Christmas because people were saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”
America is the place where we exercise freedom of religion, but it seems that we are starting to very much become a Christian nation, with a serious distaste for non-Christian extremist nations.
Honestly, I am terrified of what America will become. We are very much still a young nation with high hopes, but we cannot get our shit together. We are starting wars abroad instead of solving the obvious issues at home. We take our news from social media and made-up statistics, hoping that we are fighting for the right cause.
And I know that there will be some people that will wage war on me because of this post. They will comment and tell me how much of an idiot I am. They will have my head because maybe I do not agree with them. They will start a war on social media, one that does not matter, in hopes of making a difference. All I ask is that we keep everyone’s dignity in tact–we are all in America for the same reason but it is so frustrating to know that our checks and balances are difficult to maneuver.