The other night I got into an argument that honestly was one more insult away from an all out fight between myself and a bartender at my former local watering hole and also the place that I stayed in the apartment above. I’m not gonna get into anything too deep, but let me just say that, politics is NEVER something that should be talked about in a bar, religion as well. This, has always been a rule, but is rarely followed. Especially after the tumultuous election we just had.
After being in Ft. Lauderdale for the past several months leading up to election day, I had the opportunity to see just how many people are out there supporting our new President. It blew my mind. After living for so long in Chicago, and maintaining most of my time in more liberal areas of the city, you forget that everyone doesn’t agree with you when it comes to politics.
We read what we agree with, we listen to podcasts that further cement our ideals, and with each one of these instances that happen over and over again, we find ourselves further away from what the truth is.
I can be overly passionate shall we say when it comes to politics. I’ve always been and always will be a liberal person, but jesus christ do I hate liberals sometimes…all the time…at least most of the time. You could argue there is also a bit of self hate involved in that, but that’s only natural.
The argument that I had with this guy, was complete nonsense. He along with millions upon millions of others from all corners of the country and political spectrum have wound themselves around the twist in their “search” for information. Let’s be honest, “search” is simply them turning on their facebook page. Which, hey, I do the same thing, most of us get our news in clips and blogs not unlike hankthereal.com that give out tidbits of info, to extremely intricate situations. We all choose our own version of the propaganda that goes best with our politics.
Some of us can shut it off and keep our irrational side in check long enough to stay out of debates on social media, but then there are those others. This particular person is one of those “others”. Those chase those who don’t agree with them all over the interweb “calling idiots out”. In the end they only become a part of the larger problem. They don’t sway people, they don’t learn anything, they don’t teach. They point the finger and say, “That’s the bad guy.”
This isn’t any way to inflict positive change. It isn’t. If you find yourself staring at your profile page on facebook and notice that your feed is full of vitriol and heated debate, then you are making this thing worse. I can’t speak for the conservative trolls of America, but the liberal ones I can. What you are seeing is people who know they don’t do a god damn thing to help others they claim to champion, and as a result are ashamed. And with the election of the Donald, we see entire group of people shocked that they are now directly associated with their own racist pasts.
The whole safety pin thread is a perfect example of that fear of appearances. If you are really about protected those that are historically disenfranchised, you don’t need a safety pin to do that. All that is is a badge so that white liberals can say, “Look, I didn’t vote for Trump, I’m not a racist.” Yes they are.
Yes we are. Yes the whole world is.
So next time you construct yourself a lengthy dissertation on the state of the prison system in America, stop. Ask yourself if arguing with this person is going to better you in any way. Then, close your device and go do whatever it is you should be doing with your life. You want people to do good things and help each other? Then go do those things. Lead. Be the result of compassion and dedication. That’s the only way to make the world a better place, and the fucked up thing is, you won’t even feel it.