If you were surprised by the Trumper Riot in Washington D.C. yesterday, then you just haven’t been paying attention. Same could be said for the riots this summer from “the other side”. Even if the rioters only represent a small percentage of the population, in a nation of 328 million that can still be a lot of people. Plus, there are even more people out there who might not join the riot, but are applauding the effort. Who knows how many extremists are really out there? But, it’s a big number on both sides of the political divide. And both sides share common feelings of anger, resentment, distrust and fear. The feelings are the same but they are based on totally different worldviews.
The Left sees the past as one of oppression by a mostly white, mostly male, Western European, Christian hierarchy. They choose to reinterpret history, reject traditional narratives and seek to establish a society based on very specific definitions and desired outcomes with regard to their “holy trinity” of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity. And don’t forget to save the planet while you’re at it.
The Right sees the past through a different lens. A past seriously threatened by those on the Left, along with professional politicians lurking in The Swamp, the Mainstream Media and Global Elites. They have embraced the distorted perspective of conservative commentators and right-wing bloggers/conspiracy theorists that once upon a time this country was so much better, at least better for them as they recall. Their Populist message is a mix of Patriotism and Protectionism. America used to be great until “others” ruined it. Freedoms are being taken away and jobs have been lost…and “We The People” are not going to take it anymore.
Both extremes contain threads of truth, but are mostly wrong and certainly misguided. I still think, or want to believe, that the majority of Americans are somewhere in the Center. Perhaps center-right or center-left. But not that far from each other. Most of us want a functioning government and a healthy economy that offers opportunity to all citizens. We want to do what is right not only for ourselves but for our fellow citizens. We must resist being drawn to the extremes. It’s time to come together and pick up the pieces. We must not let the loudest voices tell us what to do. United we stand, divided we fall.
“You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist”- Indira Ghandi