Ignorance On Parade

I had a semi-known author tweet me back about a question with the following: “I think if u r a Republican 2day, given the state of rhetoric coming from your party, then by definition, yes. You’re a bigot.” Ayelet Waldman, author of Red Hook Road and Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes is someone I followed because I saw an interesting interview with her where she spoke about the balance between work and motherhood. I thought she’d be interesting. Needless to say, after this ignorant statement I don’t follow her any more. I think it’s just a completely ignorant thing to say.

We have a two party system in this country. By virtue of that, to get any sense of having a voice, most Americans line themselves with one party or the other. Because polls have consistently shown, however, that the majority of Americans categorize themselves as political moderates, that means a lot of Americans are siding with parties they are not 100% in agreement with.

I, for example, who helped vote Bill Clinton into office as a young Democrat in college (I deeply regret his second term, although I do think he accomplished a lot in his first term — good or bad is up to you), later came to find my opinions are now more in line with Republicans. But that doesn’t mean the party speaks for me. I strongly disagree with Republicans on gun control, for example, which I favor. I strongly disagree with them on environmental issues: I believe humans have harmed the environment and need to take steps to repair and prevent damage in the future. I disagree with spending less on education and more on defense. However, I find more of the Democrats’ platform with which I disagree. So I vote Republican much of the time. In order to play some role in which candidates are chosen, I therefore must register Republican. But how does that make me a bigot if some idiot in the Republican hierarchy says bigoted things?

This author is taking false equivalency to a new low here. And the fact she’s known makes it all the more disgusting because she is potentially misleading people who might actually think because she’s known she knows more than they do and not think things through for themselves. And she’s just one of many celebrities choosing to spout hateful things in condemnation of other things they consider hateful. But while doing this, they themselves encourage hate against a group of people they lump together as a stereotype without really knowing they all belong there.

This is what makes me sick about politics today. It’s what’s tearing our country apart further under a President who claimed he would reunite the country. The sad part is His administration is doing as much to put this ignorant, false rhetoric out there as anyone in the GOP.

If anyone truly wants to reunite our country they need to stop spouting misleading hyped-up, prejudicial statements and recognize our country is composed of individuals of great diversity. That should surprise no one in a country where individualism has become our highest value. It’s almost as if the political parties are trying to widen the divide to make people less individual and more aligned with their point of view. It’s easier to count your enemies that way, I guess.

I don’t know about you, but I never want to be that predictable. And I think it would be to the great detriment of our country if everyone else did, too. In fact, I’d say it’s downright un-American. Freedom of speech, after all, is one of our most cherished and protected individual rights. The hive mentality the parties are encouraging will be far from individual. It will not encourage free speech. It may eventually lead to the type of censorship where anyone speaking outside the party line is arrested, etc. Sounds to me a lot more like Russia than America.

For what it’s worth…