Are you tired of the disunity that’s pervasive in our nation today? I am and hope you are because the time to sit on the sidelines of this conflict—the conflict between what’s good and decent and what’s vile and hateful—is over. It’s time for those of us who’ve been quietly witnessing the disintegration of our bond as citizens of the United States of America to speak up and say something.
In social media terms, I’m what’s known as a listener, one who flies under the radar and doesn’t post or comment often. Sometimes, I’ll like a post but won’t actually click the “like” button. Funny thing about this is that I’m on social media, especially Facebook, often. There are times I won’t “like” a post because I don’t want the headache that comes with “supporting” a viewpoint that differs from the popular anti-Donald Trump, anti-conservative, think-as-I-think-or-else mentalities. On social media, expressing an unpopular point of view (or agreeing with one) opens you up to the actions and comments of a variety of groups.
Case in point: In 2016, I reconnected on Facebook with someone I went to high school with. This person was active in expressing disdain and a lack of support for Donald Trump. I found this person’s posts hate-filled and divisive to our society.
On Inauguration Day 2017, this former classmate posted something especially hate-filled and I commented with a quote from a religious leader, Gordon B. Hinckley, that promoted unity. As a result, this high school acquaintance unfriended me. No dialogue, no rebuttal, and—most glaringly—a lack of tolerance toward a differing opinion.
It’s sad that this is the level to which our society is sinking. Many view disagreeing as a personal affront and an indication that the disagreeing party is “racist,” “close-minded,” or (insert insult here).
A tipping point
I recently came across the following post on Facebook:
“I don’t loathe Trump because he’s a Republican. For me, this stopped being about politics long ago. I oppose him because he’s a horrific human being, a pathological liar, one of the most corrupt individuals I’ve ever come across, a racist, and an embarrassment to this country.”
I’ve seen this sentiment expressed a lot on social media, but I’ve got issues with a few things regarding these opinions.
- “Horrific human being…” Unless you know Donald Trump on a personal level and spend time with him, emotion and what you’re spoon-fed by the media drives this assessment of the man.
- “Pathological liar…” See point 1. Also, if you base this opinion on unfulfilled campaign promises, name one U.S. president who was not guilty of the same offense.
- “One of the most corrupt individuals I’ve ever come across…” Again, unless you base this mindset on first-hand experience, it’s unfounded and speculative.
Forming an opinion of the current President of the United States based on what’s on TV and social media is to base an opinion on a one-sided point of view.
I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes Trump doesn’t present himself well and engages his mouth before thinking, but prior to the current pandemic, the fruits of his leadership spoke loud and clear as our nation’s economy was booming.
Have you listened to or read his Mt. Rushmore speech delivered on July 3, 2020? It’s exactly what our nation needs to hear right now. Look it up, read it, and see if there’s anything you disagree with.
Our nation’s troubles are not because of Donald Trump, they’re because of our lack of unity and our unwillingness to build on commonalities instead of destructing based on differences. Unless we wake up to this fact and develop a listening ear and empathetic heart, these troubles will live on with future generations.
Let’s resolve to change now for the sake of our posterity.