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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

More In Common

Social media is often wonderfully entertaining.  The political machines chugging along with their little cult members parroting every pathetically rehearsed line from the candidate's mouths as though it's Gospel, and then there are the folks from the "like if you love Jesus" crowd who are explaining to the world how they love God more than y'all.  Social media has become a pulpit of sorts for everyone from every walk of life and religious affection to share their thoughts and ideas - and the cacophony of voices are only getting louder.

When folks have something intelligent to say, that's just fine.  When it's propaganda for propaganda's sake, it sucks. 

At the very heart of the whole of the ideological spectrum, or from a religious or "moral" standpoint, there are common elements that both sides of the aisle share, but we're often too busy running our damned mouths to even notice.  You see, it's easy to be pissed off and stay pissed off because of "righteous indignation," and it gathers a crowd who end up screaming for someone's blood, but at the foundation, we have more in common with one another than we have reasons to riot.  Here are a few examples of what I am getting at:

Police Brutality:  On the hardcore left, the goal is to see people not have to live in fear of authority and not have that authority inflict harm on its citizens.  On the right, they want pretty much the same thing - they're called Libertarians and Tea Partiers.  What is missed in this equation is that most people who are bitching the loudest on both sides haven't the intestinal fortitude to do what law enforcement is forced to face each day.  It doesn't excuse by any means errant officers who break the law, as a matter of fact, they should be punished quite firmly when they do break the law.  On the other hand, maybe people should stop breaking the law and start acting like human beings with common sense.  The stress on law enforcement would be lessened if we could do that and we'd have a nicer place for all of us to live.

African American President:  This generation has made history by electing a man whose skin color would have gotten him killed in parts of the country not 60 years ago.   Both sides of the aisle want to see our country safe, prosperous, caring, strong, and effective.  The hardcore left loves the President just because of his skin color, and there are those on the hardcore right who hate him for the same reason.  But at the bottom line, you'll find that we all want the President to succeed because for him to succeed means that the whole of the country succeeds.  I'm not a fan of many of his policies but it his policies I abhor, not the color of his skin.

Love:  Everyone wants to love and be loved.  Unless you're a complete sociopath, the human experience includes connection with others and a desire to feel secure in a way that only love can bring.  I don't give a hoot what your political affiliation may be, when you're loved, you're a better person.  When you love others, you become a beacon of light rather than a giver of darkness.

Football:  At a football game, there are supporters of one side and supporters of the other.  No one cares what political party you belong to because what matters is the game and the team.  Period.

Comedy:  We all love to laugh and that excludes no one.  Humor is a uniquely human attribute and it doesn't matter if you're a Lutheran, a Methodist, a Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian, a Baptist, or an agnostic - we all love to laugh and there isn't anything wrong with that. 

No Hungry Children:  Not a single person I know would advocate that any child should go hungry.  Not a one.  Conservatives and liberals alike see the problem as real, but often, nothing gets done.  

You see?  We have great things in common and if we only had the courage to cherish those things rather than fight about issues of little impact, the world as we know it today would change.  Granted, there will always be the criminal element lurking about, but as a general rule, peace with one another is better than conflict. 

Social media is a great place for positivity and a celebration of commonalities to start.  One person can share a positive note with friends and the result is someone's day is made more bright.  One person can surprise a friend with a sweet message and provide comfort for someone suffering from depression.  Sharing information about progress, about volunteerism, about planting a garden are all very positive and fun things to see on social media rather than the argumentative tripe we see spewing forth today.  Don't you get tired of the duplicity on both sides?  Wouldn't it be nice to see everyone within our sphere of influence just get along and not try to eat each others' flesh with vitriol?

Hell, I'm as guilty as any, if not more so because I was a talk show host. 

Of course, this is just my opinion and if you disagree with me, you're probably one of those long-haired, Birkenstock-wearing, dope smoking, hippie.  Or you're a conservative, fascist, racist, homophobic, idiot.  Either way, you know I'm right.