It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything and I’m sorry for that. But something has been boiling up in me and I’d like to write about it.
Today, on Facebook (a muse for me, believe me, I’ve noticed), I came across a CNN post detailing the horrific story of a baby in NYC falling down an elevator shaft with their mother and being killed. In the comment section, under a few condolence comments, you know what I saw? Posts about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
I don’t know why I was surprised, but I was. I was angry too, I was sad. And after the waves of anger, shame, and sadness washed over me, there was something left, an epiphany of sorts. This election has brought out something in us. Now, I remember the election of 2012 on Facebook, so believe me when I say that I know it hasn’t ever been great, but I believe something about America has changed over the course of the 2016 elections. And I’m not alone in this, many have echoed these thoughts. Friends, this was not my epiphany.
We’ve been spending a lot of time trying to get to the bottom of what has made this political season what it is. Some blame the media. Others point to the candidates and their rhetoric. I think both of those views have some truth in it, but I’d like to propose a new theory:
I am causing this election to bring out the vileness in humanity.
Please don’t be confused, I’m not naive. I know only a handful of people follow this blog, and only a few more find the words I spit out on here. I am causing this election to bring out the vileness in humanity, but more importantly, so is everyone else. What I mean is, all the people who spark Twitter wars and rip out each other’s throats in the comment threads on Facebook have made this election the display of humanity’s capacity to be horrible.
Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will likely be the next president of the United States of America. We, somewhere along the way, messed that up and left ourselves with only these two options. Or, maybe we succeeded brilliantly and picked the best presidential candidate our party has ever seen. I’m not here to tell you what to believe politically, not right now. But here’s the point: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump may be our next president, but there’s millions of people living in America that will be here long after they take office.
And we have some decisions to make. Arguably, these decisions are more important than anything we’ll have decided via a ballot in a few weeks.
We have to make the decision on whether or not we will love in spite of our differences, whether we will value an individual’s life over their beliefs, and whether we can stand shoulder to shoulder and mourn the death of a six week old baby, without immediately seizing the opportunity to bring ourselves political gain. We have to decide if we will continue to stand on one side of the room and divide our nation into an “us” vs. a “them” and if so, how far we’re willing to take it.
Are we willing to riot in the streets?
Are we willing to grab our neighbors by the throat, hold our knives to their skin, and rake our hands back and forth until their skin breaks apart and our hands are covered in their blood?
I hope not. I pray we won’t. But more and more I’m not sure.
Sure, I’m worried about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Yes, there are some amendments I’m passionate about getting passed or trying to prevent from getting passed. But I’m more worried about what’s going to left after all of the ballots are cast and counted.
I don’t want to be a part of the very thing I’m trying to fight. I don’t want to be a person, so trapped in his own life, I’m unwilling to even listen to someone outside of myself. So, I’m going to try really hard to not blog about politics anymore, and if I do, to do it in a way that’s productive and helpful. I’m not going to start Twitter wars or let people on Facebook rub me the wrong way.
I am America and I know I can be doing better. Will you join me?