Dear Trump Supporters and Dear Non-Trump Supporters. Hell, Dear America.
It’s hard to have hatred for either side of the isle when you take a breath to visit the birthplace of our country’s Republic. It really is. When you step into the small rooms where 13 leaders traveled to discuss the health and future of our nation; a nation independent of tyranny and blatantly unfair taxation of the people, removal of our arms and subservience to an overbearing tyrannical monarchy, to not respect the sacrifices, lives lost and ideals gleaned from the forefathers who wanted to guide our nation into a lighted path and out of the centuries of political monarchies and greedy propagandists that led us into things we wanted to separate from — like class warfare and racially divided lines — to not feel a profound amount of respect and reverence.
It’s hard to look at iconic items like the Liberty Bell and not feel patriotic.
In fact, I would argue that it is damn near impossible.
The sanctity for these things is something I felt when my husband and I took an impromptu trip to Philadelphia a few months ago. We had no plan to visit. We had (really) no reason to, but we did it because the airfare was dirt cheap, we had the itch to travel and we like to explore something and somewhere neither of us had ever seen. So we booked a flight, a hotel and went on an adventure; a profoundly attitude changing adventure.
So? Why not breathe in a bit of dusty, old history while you go on an adventure? Personally? If I could spend the rest of my life in musty libraries, surrounded by books and knowledge far exceeding the limitations of my own, I most certainly would, and I most certainly would because the one thing I crave in this life more than anything else in this world is knowledge. Not because I believe that knowledge is power, but more, because I believe that knowledge is freedom.
I believe that the more we study history, the less likely we are to repeat it. The less we play the victims of circumstance and the more we empower ourselves with knowledge, the less likely we are to become slaves to a corrupt system or sheep who merely follow the social examples of the less socially inept and empathetic.
You see, knowledge is power because knowledge is freedom.
I look at my country now with a side-eye glance. I see mere glimpses of the patriotism and ideals that so many men and women before us died for; died to protect. I see these things thrown upon the fire of hypocrisy in the name of political correctness and self-proposed justice that people have forgotten the art of debate; that people have forgotten how to love thy neighbor, simply because they are too busy disagreeing with their political ideals to see the person under that, and to be completely unwilling to understand or love that person, due to simple politics.
Now? If someone disagrees with you, you say “Fuck them”, unfriend them and talk shit behind their back on your wall. You have no healthy channels of debate. You have no recourse for reconciliation. It’s a “my way or the highway” mentality that, frankly, scares the ever-loving hell out of me.
Avenues of tolerance or hearing someone out have given way to a hard-lined, label throwing society that is NOT what this country is, should be or should become.
We are bombarded, daily, with political op-eds from either side of the isle, who tell us what we should think, how we should feel and explanations of why the “other side is so horribly deplorable.”
We have, because of our own, selfish actions, become a nation who will not travel to discuss the health and future of our people. We have become a nation full of tyranny on both sides, mimicked by people in both parties who impose our own beliefs on the other. We have become a nation that is a proponent of unfair taxation, for some, removal of arms, for others, but yet still, by and large, demanding a subservience to an overbearing and self-imposed political monarchy who does not respect the sacrifices of the men and women who came before them, who lost their lives in service and in protection of the ideals our very country was founded upon in two small rooms in a place called Independence Hall in Philadelphia several hundred years ago. And we have allowed this over 100 years of political propaganda that is manipulated by a corrupt and self-serving media.
We have forgotten that we, the people, are the ones who founded this country and that we, the people, choose its direction daily; that we, the people, are in control of the rudder to navigate this war-torn, racially divided and politically divisive ship forward, and that we, we the people, don’t need to buy into the political propaganda fed to us by the Hollywood elite, the politicians in Washington and the polarizing figures we have come to idolize.
We, the people, have a voice. We, the people, need to learn to use it again. And that voice is independent of politics, of political parties and of propaganda. That voice is, “Hey, would you like to have dinner?” That voice is getting to know someone, outside of their political ideals and the courage and strength to love and care for them in spite of those conflicting with your own. The art of persuasion has been lost. It’s an art that desperately needs to be found once again.
We do not need to use our voices always in solidarity of protest and anger, but rather in the sense of lifting one another up. Not blaming or shaming someone because of their political beliefs or affiliations but in by opening up a healthy dialogue. Because here is a cold, hard truth: if we, the people cannot do this, how on Earth can you expect our politicians to it for us? If we the people are crying out in divisive voices, how can our “leaders” not pander to that? We are, and always have been in control of the political process, and we, the people need to realize and embrace that, because it has been long since forgotten. We elect public servants to govern, not to rule.
We, the people, have to be the rudder that steers the ship, and we have to collectively believe this. We have to stop the racial divides being sewn, we have to stop the hatred of law enforcement, we have to stop the violence. And we have to do this, one by one, every day, each one of us. Because if we don’t, no one will.
Because that is exactly the path taken toward enforcing martial law by self-imposed political monarchs, in the name of governance.
We the people have to lead the way, because, frankly, the politicians have lost theirs.
In short, either be the change, or shut the fuck up and quit blaming everyone else that there is no change. It starts with you. It ends with us. But it means that we meet in the middle with us working together and leading those who govern, because, they won’t get votes if we are united against them and for one another. They only get votes the more divided we are.
And someone who was a lot smarter than I once said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
Unite to light the way for our future or divide and fall. That is how history will write it. Let us be the country that bucks history, because we have, so far, been the country who always has been.
We are a melting pot of culture, religion, diversity, and hope. And the second we begin embracing those ideals is the second everything else beings to work itself out, regardless of who sits in the Oval Office or elsewhere. The change, the revolution, as it were, even if only socially at the moment, starts and ends with YOU.
Seek first to understand, seek second to be understood. Governance by the people and for the people, that is what this country stands on, so remember who the people are, they are your friends, your neighbors, your farmers, your soldiers, your patriots. And the one thing we all have in common? We are all human. So stop the hate, stop the backlash and start to see your neighbors as people to be understood, and you’d be surprised what happens.
Otherwise? You’ll condemn our nation into dusty old books that people like me will read for years end, in the hopes that those sins will never be repeated again.