America 2016: A Cold, Civil War
As the political conventions draw to a close, the people are more confused and pissed off than ever.
Let’s meet the three major forces looking to shape the future direction of the country.
- Trump Faction; The (very) old-guard. This group is made of people who used to have final say in all matters social and political. They basically dictated policy in the days following World War II, however, they have slowly lost relevancy as other groups (minorities) have started to stand up for their own rights and dignity. They have lost the culture wars, and have now picked a candidate who’s sure to show the rest of us who’s boss, and what happens when you step out of line. In a word, scared.
- Hilary Faction; The Establishment. They are older voters with a low appetite for change. Currently approaching retirement, they are fully invested to the system in its present iteration. These people are voting for the status quo, and believe that the way things are going is the best we are ever going to get, and are unwilling to risk great action to correct course. In a word, scared.
- Bernie Faction; The youth. These people have grown up in a chaotic America. They watched towers fall and the economy collapse. They have to compete in a brutal job market battle-royale where good middle-class opportunities simply aren’t around like they used to be. They have suffered intense humiliation and abuses from those in power. They have no houses, no wealth, no role-models, only ideals and a mountain of debt. They want to believe the world can be better, but are becoming more and more jaded everyday. In a word, scared.
The common thread here is fear. Americans are gripped by fear, of losing power, of never having any. Right now the country is spiraling out of control, and the only thing that can stop it is rational conversation and compromise. From what I have seen in the last 15 years, I have little reason to hope. People are shrinking from one another, boundaries are growing, ideologies are becoming more extreme.
The willingness to listen and the ability to empathize has disappeared from the national conversation. It can no longer be called a conversation; it is fractured into an ever dividing series of echo-chambers where everyone preaches to their own choir.
Let us try to reverse this, be the person who listens, even when what you are hearing is absolutely outrageous, demeaning, intolerant of your right to human dignity. Just listen, and try to find out why. There is no alternative way to a good ending.