I’ve been realizing more and more just how critical it is that we (collectively as Americans) stop preaching division, strife and anger and start looking at the one key issue that ties all Americans together.
I constantly hear people on the “right” say: “The left has gone crazy. There’s no hope for them. It’s the LEFT that’s destroying this country.”
And people on the “left” say: “People on the right are racist, misogynistic, fascist bigots who shouldn’t even be allowed to speak or have an opinion.”
Both sides lump everyone under one damning umbrella of the “left” or the “right”, as if individuals, with varying preferences, don’t make up the whole. Further, it’s as if there’s some single ideological belief that all people on the “right” subscribe to and all people on the “left” subscribe to–like there are irreconcilable differences between the two camps and for one camp to exist and thrive the other must be eliminated.
This type of division is an incredibly effective tactic for social and political manipulation. It allows for those in power to use the emotional response of one group to stir up an emotional response in another group. It advantages the powerful by allowing them to manipulate the emotions of the masses, stirring up an “us” versus “them” mentality. Such a mentality is incredibly useful for the powerful because it blinds the citizenry to reality and makes them vulnerable.
We’re like sheep, blindly listening to the government and the media who tell us that people who disagree with us politically are not human. Such messaging stimulates those who would otherwise not vote, to vote. It causes people who wouldn’t support certain businesses/causes to support certain businesses/causes. It mobilizes the masses in a way that benefits the few powerful and damages the rest of us.
Hate and animosity are strong emotions, emotions strong enough to mobilize the previously immobile.
And, here’s the thing: while “hate” generally is incredibly taboo, in the U.S., partisan hate is not taboo. Think about it. Socially, it’s not ok to hate someone because of their skin color, religion, age, ethnicity and the like. But it is ok, even preferred, to hate someone because of their political preferences.
And friends, we, followers of this blog, cannot fall into this trap. We can’t blindly throw around words like “the left” or “them” or “the liberals” etc. We can’t dehumanize those we disagree with. In doing so, we’re feeding the rhetoric and the hate that further empowers those in power.
We must take the unexpected approach. We must remove ourselves from the emotional irrationality of our beliefs and always start with an objective baseline. Specifically, we must start with the objective baseline that everyone in America (aside from government) agrees upon.
No one wants an unconfined, arbitrary government.
No one wants to live in a world where the police can ransack a house freely because there is no Constitution in which to appeal. No one wants a government that can do whatever it wants simply because it’s government. No one wants a government that is the ultimate source of power and authority–the final court of review.
I challenge you to find anyone, a friend, or neighbor, or family member, who would honestly say that they want an unconfined, uncontrolled government.
This basic and yet world-altering reality is what ties all of us in America together… for better or worse.
The reality is that an unconfined and uncontrolled government is the worst of all of our fears. In America, we can’t imagine a world where government is not subject to something else outside of government. This simple reality, this simple expectation for a confined and limited government, is the basic fundamental principle that all Americans agree upon.
And a simple reading of the Constitution displays that this government has gone far beyond its realm of Constitutionally enumerated powers and is now operating in the dangerous realm of arbitrary power.
All Americans should be personally affronted by this.
And don’t tell me that “people on the left can’t be reasoned with” or “people on the left are too far gone”. That’s doing exactly what I’m warning against. If we go with that logic, then what’s the answer? Do we want half of America eliminated, reprogrammed or suppressed? I mean, really. Think about it. When you say that the “left” is beyond saving, what are you really saying? What’s to be done with them then?
Don’t do what so many Americans have started to do. Don’t dehumanize and devalue half or more of the population simply because the media and your government tells you that they’re “beyond saving”.
If we want to move forward with hope then we must consider the possibility anyone in America can be reasoned with. And that starts by recognizing the core belief that even the most radical ideologues would agree with.
No one wants to be ruled over by an unconfined, uncontrollable government.
Friends, START HERE.
I always start here. And my students and others I’ve spoken to, who are not on the right, always agree.
Now we have somewhere to work from. Now we are both standing on common ground and have a place from which to start legitimate discussion.
Now we can take the conversation a step further, carefully and methodically breaking down the threat of arbitrary power and the importance of the Constitution as government’s job description.
Emotion is removed and opinions put on hold in the face of the overwhelming objective reality that a government that violates the Constitution is unconfined, arbitrary and terrifying.
Listen, people put up their guard as soon as they see someone walk up with a “party flag“.
Stop putting up a party flag with everyone you interact with. Instead, try putting up an American flag and show that you only care about the Constitution. Find this common ground with any and everyone you meet.
We have to stop playing into the hands of the media and government. We have to start standing up for the Constitution, no matter the party.
There is an incredibly unifying power out there that we’re egregiously neglecting. The Constitution.
But what do we exalt more?
The party label?
Or the Constitution?
I implore you to think long and hard about that decision, because it could affect the very course of history.
The Liberty Belle