I don’t write many entries like this, but having just watched Hamilton, it seems now is as good a time as any to get this off my chest.
To you who hate the right, to you who hate the left; to you who hate the Boomers, to you who hate the Millennials; to you who hate the rich, to you who hate the poor, the middle class, the new rich, the old money:
Stop fucking up our country.
Our country was founded on compromises. Big states, little states, slave-states, non-slave-states, our founding fathers made compromises at every turn to try to stitch this country together. They understood the value of compromise; they understood that you can’t always have everything you want, you spoiled, egotistical assholes. They understood that keeping America together was the greater good, that they had to put aside their differences to make America great the first time.
You who say, “the left will turn us socialist,” when was the last time you actually spoke to a Democrat and genuinely tried to understand his or her position? You who say, “the right wants to screw the middle class to benefit the wealthy,” when was the last time you actually talked to a Republican to understand what he or she actually believes and why? You who hate the rich, what demonstrable proof do you have that any specific rich person actually fucked you over? You who claim that the poor are leaching off welfare at your expense, when was the last time you were on welfare, doing your damnedest to find a roof for yourself and your family when you lost your job through no fault of your own? You who hate the Boomers, most Millennials were raised by Boomers: do you really despise your own parents that much? Boomers, same question to you: do you really hate your children that much?
Get a grip, America. Remember that these people you speak of with such disdain, such scorn, are people, and not only that, they are your fellow Americans. You may disagree with them, but so did our founding fathers. You may say that things were different in those early days. Yeah, they were: people shot each other over what they believed. There are times in our history when congressmen and senators carried guns into the Capitol because the risk of violence was so great. Is that really where you want to see us again? Do you really think that tearing the country apart along every one of its fissures is the right thing to do? Are you ready to be part of the Divided States of America? Is your insistence that what you believe is more right than everybody else really worth bringing us to that? If you looked out to see US Civil War II, would you be proud of yourself? If your brother, sister, mother, father, child, or spouse died fighting someone else’s brother, sister, mother, father, child, or spouse over who is right and who is wrong, would you be proud?
Think long and hard before you answer those questions. Really think about losing your loved ones over this.
I can say with absolute conviction that I would be devastated by that loss of life over something so petty. So what if you spend a thousand dollars on someone else’s welfare? Is it worth killing that person for it? Will you go look the recipient of your hard-earned money in the eye, point a gun to his forehead, and pull the trigger? So what if the rich take advantage of loopholes in the laws to pay fewer taxes? Will you be the one to shoot them, to end their lives so that they can’t dodge taxes anymore? What does that achieve in the long run?
Our country was founded on compromise, on recognizing that the good of the nation sometimes requires us to put aside our individual egos, to find a way to get along. That is how our country will continue to survive. Over the years, the topics have changed, but the controversy remains, and continuing to inspire hatred of the other side, regardless of what that side is—blacks or whites, rich or poor, immigrants or natives, Republicans or Democrats, old or young, it doesn’t matter; we have all got to learn to get along, to respect each other, to recognize that while we may not agree with each other, our founding fathers and countless soldiers died to give us the right to our opinions, and it is not our place to deny that right to each other or to be nasty to each other in the process.
It is time that we started looking for those compromises. It is time that we asked ourselves, “What really benefits our country as a whole?” It is time we started demanding better politicians in the House, Senate, and Presidency, stopped settling for the lesser of two evils. It is time for America to remember that we are the United States, to remember that united, we have stood; divided, we will fall. Until we unite as a country, we will continue to have politicians who prey on our fears and prejudices to get elected. Do you really want to be prey? Overcome your fears; rise above your prejudices. Give a giant middle finger to the politicians who thrive on that kind of herd mentality.
Be a better person. Demand better leadership.