Getting along

By Joe Rector

The “strange” year elections are over, and it appears that both sides found at least a bit of disappointment. Most of us suffer from election fatigue. We are ready to celebrate holidays that were missed last year as Covid-19 ravaged the country. Not being bombarded by political ads on television will be a nice change.

What disturbs me most of all is the fact that we don’t seem to be able to get long. More than at any time since the late ’60s, our country is divided into camps. Back then, the two main groups were those in support of the Vietnam war and the individuals who didn’t like it. In many ways, the conflict was between two generations. Supporters tended to be older, while protestors were mostly college-aged students. Both sides passionately voiced their views. Clashes between them occurred often and blows were traded, along with yells of, “America, love it or leave it” and “The whole world is watching!” No parades were held for returning veterans; to this day, some patriotic folks suffer from the effects of having fought in that war.

Today, the divide is much worse. Two political parties refuse to get along with each other. They delight in destroying the programs of the opponent. Irony drips over the fact that these individuals are sent to represent their constituents but put the interests of the party above people. No, neither side is innocent.

Right-wing conspiracy theories make the news every day. Not above guilt, the other side shouts its woke philosophy that confounds us older citizens. Instead of simply talking about things, politicians shun anyone who doesn’t agree with them. An evenly divided U.S. Senate twiddles their thumbs as neither side can reach across the aisle to form a bipartisan government that works to better the life in this country.

That division has come flooding down to the electorate—you and me. We don’t seem to find a middle ground on anything. Too many folks turn backs on old friends because they are members of another party or have different ideas on the major issues. What used to be simple disagreements among friends have turned into violent confrontations.

I miss the days when friends could debate, yes, even argue, about beliefs. Now, we just can’t abide any person, family member, or friend, who takes an opposing view.  It says volumes about our world when we are unable to exchange ideas. Not getting along causes people in today’s world to join forces with only like-minded folks. We eliminate anything or anyone outside our predetermined world, and in doing so, we fail to see the other side of the topic and the good points that it holds.

I, for one, am sick and tired of the hatred that spews from extremists in general. I am not woke, not prejudiced, not racist, and not delusional. I’m a middle-of-the-road moderate who sees good ideas on both sides of national arguments. I have enough common sense to know that if we don’t stop the fighting and isolating that our country won’t survive. It’s time for us to give up our myopic views and return to the center where the majority of Americans live. Then perhaps some of the good ideas that we have will come to fruition. It all begins with getting along. Try it; you might just like it.

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