Politics: Why So Angry?

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We are now nine days and change until Election 2018. We see the rhetoric, the anger, and divisions blaring into our lives all day every day. Negative media and social media ads and discussions proliferate.

I have two very important questions for you. I don’t want you answer right away. I’d like you to reflect upon them and see if it makes sense to adjust your course and the way you impact the world and political sphere each day. These questions are aimed at all sides because I think all sides should think long and hard about them.

Who are you so angry at and why are you so angry at them?

Recent events like the Kavanaugh hearing and the bombs this week are perfect examples. Many people immediately form into their tribes. They jettison common sense and compassion for all involved. They start making excuses for what they want to be true instead holding steadfastly to finding out what the truth actually is. “We” must win at all costs. A loss to “them” is the end of every thing!

How dramatic. How untrue and out-of-proportion that thinking almost inevitably is.

I despise labels because they fail to capture the complexity and confusion that is every human being. I’m using them only to demonstrate a point.

Liberal, conservative, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green Party, Tea Party progressive - who are you so angry at and why are you so angry at them?

Seriously, you spread all that venom about “them” and yet what did individuals you classify as “them” really do to you?

I get it! We humans, every single one of us, is caught by our conditioning, dogmas, and circumstances. Few ever aspire to or attain a level of wisdom to see completely beyond these parameters in our minds.

Our experience can make use myopic about other people and their equally valid experiences. We tend to see “us and ours” as what the center of the world around which all else revolves. When someone deviates from our philosophical happy place, it makes us uncomfortable, BUT why does it have to make us ugly and angry?

What did they do to you? They disagreed with you? They have a worldview that, had you experienced what they’ve experienced, you very well might share and vice versa?

Aren’t we Americans? Aren’t we supposed to value freedom - an inescapable definition of which is the ability to disagree?

What’s causing the ugliness?Is it the herd mentality of it all that’s warping who you might be left to your own devices? Is it the effects of decades of divisive media consciously designed to polarize and disempower all of us?

Can you not, even for one lucid second, see how someone could live on this planet and arrive at some of the conclusions your “enemies” have arrived at? Do you think they’re really just stupid and evil? What are they really doing except using the freedom we all enjoy as Americans to express a different view than yours?

I’d bet I could answer for the vast majority reading this. You don’t even know what comes over you when it comes to politics. You say things, think things, do things that are not really who you are. You get swept up in emotion and groupthink.

STOP! Please, stop. Clear your head. Change the level of the dialogue. Disagree with others and firmly make your case, but don’t demonize and dismiss. No one, most of all our country, wins in that scenario.

We’ve been hearing for months now that this is “the most important election ever.” Having lived 54 years, I’ve heard that a few times before. Even the political paradigm-makers selling that idea have had to qualify it by saying, “We know we’ve said this before, but this time it really is.”

I’d say this. Every election is important. What’s more important is how we emerge from that election, win or lose from our perspective. Do we emerge united and ready to better all our lives or do we, again, emerge angry and divided and spreading negative energy that perpetuates our misery?

Maybe what I’ve written here makes total sense to you. Yet, there’s this lingering two-word rebuttal in your mind. “But they…” “Sure, Ray, I’m wiling to change, but they…”

Let me relieve you of that thought right now. Guess what? Your “adversaries” on the other side are saying the same “But they…”

Will both sides hold onto the the But they and an use it as an excuse to keep the destructive negativity going? Will you?

Ray Davis
for 6 Sense Media