Do you ever stop to wonder why there is a constant barrage of polarized issues out there? Many of them, once you do stop to think about it, are superficially polarized. For example, "you either support the police or police are the enemy". Really, it's not like that. It may be hard to believe, but you can be against police murdering citizens and against citizens murdering police AT THE SAME TIME. These two stances are not is a stance against MURDER, period. Standing against corruption/overreaching/brutality is not the same as standing against the police/government/military/etc. The ones that want you to believe that are the ones that are corrupt or that benefit from corruption (a form of corruption, imo). We need to stand firmly against abuses of power, or we are inviting and accepting further abuse of power.
Similarly, the "you support our troops or you are un-American". Everyone I've ever known supports our soldiers. Not everyone supports sending our men and women to some far off country to die for reasons that are often vague and deceptive. Just as we don't support murder, we also don't support our family and friends and neighbors to be used as cannon fodder in a power struggle, while misrepresenting it as "defending our freedom". That is a gross perversion of what our troops believe in and sign up for. They (the corrupt and the power-hungry) want to keep us divided on such issues, for if we remain divided, we cannot stand unified against those that poison our nation. If we remain divided, we cannot weed out corruption, tear down the walls of bigotry, destroy the illusions of paranoia and fear that they feed us every day. I'm just saying, maybe we should all take a moment to consider both sides of an issue. Are they really different, or are they just made to appear different to keep us from seeing that we are really on the same page? "United, we stand; divided, we fall."
@BeannachtOraibh for sure. The community I grew up in was very jaded but there was this undercurrent of, it's hard to describe but this absolute faith that whoever is in power deserves to be there and can do no wrong. Which gives me such cognitive dissonance to think about now. Why were people who were so sure the world is doomed so okay with those in positions of power? It was very strange.
@shannonl5 I lived near a military base growing up, so any political discussion was "Woo-hoo! Our troops are #1! God bless our troops!" I'm not really sure if that was the national climate through the 90s, or if it was just the area I was in, but I feel like I've woken up from that dream (that filled me with pride and hope and made me feel kinship with my community) to this nightmare (of bigotry and corruption).
I definitely feel this way a lot. I get the impression that the political climate has changed a lot post 9/11 and that it wasn't always so jingoistic/polarized but honestly I don't think I was paying much attention back then (the failures of being young... not to mention the school district I was in basically discouraged any kind of political discussion).
I don't know how well I'm explaining my thoughts...For some odd reason, everyone wants this to the End Times. To be part of some grungy old prophesy, I guess? I dunno. But people choose their politicians and their news with this message in mind. Confirmation bias, of a sort. And then...dominoes...they treat everything like tomorrow will never come. On the news, I want to see a soldier who was donated an artificial limb, a police officer who stood up to his corruot superior, a fireman who rescued an elderly lady's cat. From our politicians, I want to see them actively seeking realistic ways to heal our world, our economy, our culture, and actually solve problems like homelessness and hunger (not blame the victims of such for "draining funds").
I don't understand the doom mentality. Sure, the things I see on a daily basis shake my faith in the human race, but I'm still optimistic that we can change the world for the better (if we start accepting responsibility and work toward fixing our mistakes, rather than blameshifting and endlessly pushing the job off on others). Doom is a self-fulfilling prophesy, and we need leaders who actively seek hope instead.