This is What's Wrong with America

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

I can honestly say that I have never shared my political opinion on social media or a blog. I have thought about it multiple times and a few suggestive posts have slipped out, but I believe that social media is for sharing positivity, not bashing or bringing other people down. However, many people have asked me questions on where I stand and I decided to write this blog post as the end all, be all of my political opinion on the internet.

Let me start by saying, I consider myself a centrist. I have voted Republican, Democrat, and Independent. Since I received my voting privilege in 2013, I pride myself in taking the time to review every candidate’s platform no matter what they are running for. I do this so I can make a critical thinking decision rather than letting someone else tell me who is the “right” person to vote for based on a color/party name.

If someone asks me a question about politics in person, I’m happy to engage in an open conversation, but 90% of the time I keep who I vote for to myself. Why? Because my Grandma Nell taught me a long time ago that it was my right to keep my vote a secret and that I wasn’t required to answer anyone. Therefore, if you thought this post was going to tell you who I voted for then you’re wrong.

This post is for what I think is missing in our politics and in our country—love. I think it’s been missing for a long time, but it has died out more in this decade than ever before. Instead of looking at each other as neighbors, we are looking at each other as enemies, simply because of what party we selected on a voting ballot. Instead of loving one another and walking in one another shoes, we conjure hate because we disagree with an opinion. If I hated everyone based on an opinion, I would hate my family, friends, and even my fiancĂ©. This isn’t okay for me and it shouldn’t be okay for America.

When I think about the state of our political climate, lyrics from “Where Were You When The World Stop Turning” by Alan Jackson comes to mind:

“I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you
The diff'rence in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope, and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love”

I may not know a lot about politics, but I do know about love and compassion. I also know that as a country we could do with more faith and hope because it seems to have disappeared from our rhetoric. I don’t care if you believe in Jesus, the golden rule, Mohammed, Buddha, or any other religious figure or life ideal, love is the cornerstone of our lives. Love is how we make friends, how we define our family, and how we find meaning in life. Throughout my childhood, I was taught (I’m sure you were too) to love thy neighbor as thyself. Treating and loving your neighbor like yourself doesn’t come with a fine print clause that says you can ignore or hate them based on political beliefs, gender, sexuality, or skin color.

There is no fine print that says because you vote for a Democrat, you want to give everyone a handout and ruin the country. There is also no fine print that says because you vote Republican you hate gay people and want to rip away healthcare. These ideas are made up notions in our minds that could be taken away by love and compassion. By taking a moment to think with love, we could ruin our confirmation bias and hear the opinions of everyone.

I am not saying that after we listen, we will agree with everyone. However, I will leave you with this idea for you to ponder. If we could show the same compassion to our neighbor afraid of losing their guns that we show to our neighbor afraid of losing their healthcare, America would be a much better place. If we stopped posting hateful content on our social media platforms, America would be a much better place. If we would love our neighbor like ourselves, America would be a much better place.

This is how we truly make America great again.

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