This article was inspired by the massive amounts of violence, anger, and anxiety surrounding the recent election. One sees America fragmenting into groups and Tribalism reigning supreme. What happened to the America of the 90’s and early 2000’s, where both sides of the political spectrum were more willing to listen to each other? The breakdown of discussion goes hand in hand with the all-out Kulturkampf of recent times. As much as we all desire unity, there exist two Americas: one capitalist and God-fearing, the other socialist and atheist. The means of pushing down the other culture range from political correctness to controlling the education system to laws to pop culture to judicial mandates. Any and every encroachment by one side breeds anger and irritation in the other.
I want to be fair to the Left, but they are responsible for the majority of violence in recent times: Who smears police officers as universally corrupt, which motivates Black Lives Matter activists to kill police officers? Who refuses to acknowledge that Islamo-fascists are killing Westerners just for being American or European? Who has banished one side of the political spectrum from many college campuses through adherence to political correctness? A political correctness that not only condemns racial slurs and derogatory speech (which should be held in contempt by right thinking men) but even any argument which disagrees with the Leftist worldview? Who has labelled half the country as racists, Nazis, fascists, xenophobes, sexists, etc.? Do they not know that the popular culture equates Nazis and fascists to outlaws, i.e. people who may be killed on sight? Is it the Right Wing that trashes DC while waving Red and Anarchist flags? Some of Trump’s remarks sound plenty offensive to certain people. But, one has the right to say whatever one wishes in a free country, and we can either live as free men of a republic or as slaves of a totalitarian state.
But, the Right side of the spectrum is not off the hook either in this article, because they perpetuate the same method as Left-leaning media. They do it because it produces ratings. That thing is using rhetoric in order to incite the passions of their readers or viewers, anger in particular. Anger and indulging in righteous indignation can be a distinct pleasure, hence the popularity of controversial topics and “virtue-signalling.” However, reporting like this has turned the United States into a powder keg, or rather, a collection of powder kegs. (Communities are hardly organized enough for a general war to break out, but pockets of violence break out here and there.) The end result cannot but be for disunion within the next generation. California already has a secession movement. Considering that California already strongly oppresses Conservatives, Christians, and others on the Right, I say let the People’s Republic of California go! The Civil War cost us 2% of the total population of the United States. That would translate to over six million people in today’s population, and California is not worth a Holocaust.
There you have it: the admonishment in the title is as much meant for the writer as the reader. People should disconnect from news services whose presentations inflame one’s passions. I myself am going to sign off of YouTube, close down the feeds of political figures on Facebook, avoid media sites dedicated to controversy, and stop using Twitter except to respond to comments. For news, I’ll stick with Crisis magazine, which focuses more on Catholic culture and theology than political themes, and One America News Network. I know the latter is good, because I found myself scrolling through their entire homepage before I found one article which might embroil my passions: it barely succeeded. I suggest that all my readers search for similar news sites or cultural/political journals which focus on dispassionate, ad rem arguments. To understand the political divide, reading books on political philosophy, like Plato’s The Republic or Aristotle’s Politics, is more useful and salutary anyway.
The next four years are going to be tough, but, if we all become a little less angry, less bloodthirsty, and more willing to accept the legitimate points of our opponents, I’m sure that Americans can weather them.