I’m a bit astonished at the lack of media coverage on some of the deaths that have occurred as a result of the rioting. Specifically, I’m disappointed and amazed that the media has given little to no attention to the Trump supporter who was killed earlier this week. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I still am.
I don’t know all the details surrounding the murder of the Trump supporter, but I do know what I heard on a recording. I do know that whoever killed him said, “We got one!” before shooting him. I know that afterwards there were celebrations in the streets about having killed a “fascist”.
Frankly, seeing people dancing over the death of a fellow American makes me feel sick. I don’t necessarily feel sick because people are killing people (unfortunately, that’s been happening since the beginning of time, literally); rather, I feel sick about just how quickly Americans are starting to dehumanize each other.
Think about this particular incident for a moment, friends. On any normal day, this Trump supporter and the rioters would probably get along and likely wouldn’t even know each other’s political persuasions. What do I mean by this?
Do you think that everyone in Portland is Democrat? Likely not. Which means that for years Trump supporters and Democrats have co-existed peacefully. They have eaten at the same restaurants as each other, likely interacted with each other while grocery shopping, stood in line next to each other at the DMV, or gotten their hair done at the same Sports Cuts (for a few examples).
So, I have a quick question for y’all: How many people do you run into or interact with on a daily basis?
Seriously. How many cashiers, fellow customers, barbers, co-workers, movie goers etc have you walked past, interacted with, spoken to over the course of the just this year? Likely more than you can count. That number may have decreased a bit since COVID but you still have to interact with people to do most things in this world.
And how many of those people do you think shared your political persuasion? (You probably didn’t even think about it, did you? That’s really the point. When you eat out at a restaurant and your waiter comes up, the first thing you think is likely not “Is this person a Trump supporter or Biden supporter because if they don’t support who I support, I can’t be served by them and they deserve to die.” No, you likely just see another human being, coming to serve you food.)
Who knows? Maybe 50%?
And yet, every day you are able to interact with, joke with, talk about sports with, the weather or everything going on with, all the people you daily encounter. And you are able to do all this just fine for the most part, yes?
That’s just it. We’re being fed an agenda by the media and politicians, an agenda that effectively dehumanizes anyone who doesn’t agree with us. And yes, we (conservatives) are being fed the lies that people on the left are animals or inhumane in some way. This is what liberals are also being fed about conservatives.
Friends, we have to stop listening to it.
I came across a video of Trump “patriots” chasing ANTIFA out of their neighborhood. Sure, protect your neighborhood. However, I then noticed that these same “patriots” used every sort of low insult and name calling as well…. treating ANTIFA as if they were no more than animals. ANTIFA shouldn’t be there in their neighborhoods, but many of the kids in ANTIFA are just that… kids. They’re being used, almost as bait, to goad conservatives and those on the right to engage in violence against them, to see and treat them as animals.
They are someone’s daughter, son, sister, brother, mother, father, or friend, just as the Trump supporter killed this weekend was someone’s son, brother, father or friend. The kid screaming on the street that Black Lives Matter may very well be the cashier who just checked you out at the grocery store the day before.
You see, it is in the interest of politicians and the media to completely dehumanize their opposition so that Republicans no longer see Democrats as fellow Americans and human beings and Democrats no longer see Republicans as fellow Americans and human beings. It helps politicians if their followers see each other as the “enemy”. This type of polarization, the “us” versus “them” mindset, leads to increased levels of turnout in the elections, which is exactly what the politicians and media want.
It’s evil. What the politicians do to gain votes is evil.
The vitriol they successfully stir up is nothing short of mind-boggling. I couldn’t believe that the rioters who found out that a Trump supporter was killed didn’t think of him as a fellow American who lost his life, someone who will be mourned by his friends and family. Rather, they saw him as scum, as a fascist, as someone who deserved to die. They knew nothing about him. They didn’t know if he was a fascist or an oppressor or someone who deserved to die. Humans, in an emotional, irrational, crazed fervor, are capable of anything. When humans are no longer humans, even amongst each other, violence and bloodshed are the consequence.
The media’s propaganda about both the sides of the political spectrum stirs people into a crazed fervor and causes them to no longer see each other as fellow Americans and humans.
In this post, I hope to dispel that lie and point out the simple fact that, based on almost all polls, Americans are not nearly as polarized as the media and politicians would have you believe. Most of what you see is a fringe. Real America is made up of the people you interact with on a daily basis without a second thought.
The next time you go to the grocery store, or to the dog park, or to get your hair cut, stop and consider for a moment that you are able to interact with other Americans peaceably. When you sit in your house and watch the news you may think that everyone in America is utterly crazy, but they aren’t. The fringe (growing every day unfortunately) may be crazy, but most Americans are peaceable, confused, angry, and scared but still Americans. They may blow up at a conservative or liberal because they’ve been fed lies that the opposite political perspective is inhuman—but they aren’t capable of executing someone on the spot yet.
Friends, this post is a call to be the better man. We must realize that America isn’t as divided as it seems to be in order to fight for the America that the media and politicians would have us believe doesn’t exist. The America where plenty of Americans who disagree on politics still go to work together, still watch sports together, still sit around in the same restaurant together, still go to the beach together, so on and so forth.
This dehumanization is dangerous and lethal. It is what led to people dancing in the streets over the death of a Trump supporter. That is horrifying to me.
May we never revel in the deaths of our political enemies, lest this political divide truly become so deep that it cannot be mended.
Friends, imagine the divide—the bitter divide—amongst Americans after the Civil War? You want to talk about division. Imagine trying to shop next to people who, months earlier, had been killing your friends and family?
We don’t know real division like that. And yet somehow, as Americans, we mended.
You see, that’s the point. We’re Americans. Yes, some of these Americans want to destroy America…but we’re just helping them along when we dehumanize them and everyone else on the left. Let’s rise up and treat our fellow Americans as fellow Americans. Who knows how many confused, scared Americans out there will end up changing their positions because they interacted with kind, compassionate “right-wingers” who completely broke the stereotype of “right-wingers’ they’d been led to believe.
Appreciate and enjoy the times you interact peaceably with other Americans.
I’ll leave you with these two quotes by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, respectively.
“There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”
“The greatest good we can do our country is to heal its party divisions and make them one people”.
True statements indeed.
The Liberty Belle