My Dear Reader,
I hesitate to write two Odyssey articles in a week. However, my very convictions demand I speak to this latest controversy.
At this time the world has many problems and people are struggling to find the truth. America's plight has taken the interest of quite a few who have inquired to know more. If you are reading this letter chances are our eyes have been captivated by the shocking tweet which my country's president made. My heart sunk within my chest reading his words, which are causing further harm to an already polarized country.
Perhaps you are one of my fellow citizens of the United States, or a member of the international community reading this. I realize whoever you are you may be looking with great curiosity over the situation of my patria. As a former activist, and presently a scholar of (mainly foreign) policy I hope to shed a light on to my patria's situation and express my disgust with a dehumanizing tweet against the opposition.
In indignation I sighed as I beheld the latest tweet from President Trump. Trump's tweet was geared at the opposition within the Republican Party to him. He denounced us as traitors and repeated some dehumanizing language I shall not repeat for the sake of the readers, but the curious may look it up.
In the days of my youth, I remember a peaceful childhood in the United States, trotting through the forest with my dear friends, reading all I could get my hands on and learning about the diversity of this world. My eyes opened to see pictures of people's trips to far off countries such as Bolivia and Turkey. My heart was a kindled as my friends and I told stories in the forest and creek talking about our future adventures to the "jungles" when we grew up. Times so tender, and so dear to my heart — friends who meant so much to me, and a world to explore.
While hatred and racism have always existed, I remember thinking that was something from the past we were moving away from. Perhaps the division was still there simmering under the surface like a volcano unknown to my young mind. The first sign of the present troubles occurred around 2009 – 2010 due to the economic crisis we never truly recovered from. My coming of age was strongly marked by the political turmoil as I delved into the works of Rousseau, Montesquieu, Locke, and Voltaire hoping to find a solution to whatever it was my patria was facing. I always admired the courageous acts of George Washington, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, and others and thought by reading their influences I may find a way to bring liberty. I joined a group of likeminded young people and we debated endlessly into the night the ideals of human rights and what they meant. We argued Plato and Aristotle and enjoyed reading "Les Miserables" and other classics.
I was 16 years old, and my heart kindled with the light of liberty.
Presently I do not associate with the Republican Party nor the Democrat Party. I believe we need to seriously rethink the two-party system, but this I can confirm- I opposed Trump from the beginning on policy and personality. While I have respect for those who feel differently from me on the Trump matters, I stand here in the opposition. We need open discussions of ideas in order to know what our fellow humans are thinking. We need to extend a listening ear before vocalizing our own opinion. I have listened to Trump, as well as all of the Democrat and Republican candidates and oppose him.
2016 came and in disbelief as I saw another side of my country. Living in Paris, I was asked many questions about populism and strongman rule that seemed to be in vogue in my homeland. Events were unfolding so fast it was difficult to keep a tableau to captivate the hearts and emotions of the people. Never in 2010 did I imagine how things would turn, never could anybody predict the future. I have nothing personal against Trumpistas, for in a democracy we all have a right to support the leader we think is best. To the Trumpistas reading this I urge you to speak up for us in the opposition. For a flourishing democracy, we need an outspoken opposition to keep people in check. Even I myself need an opposition because if my ideals went unopposed, I would have no true valuable debates.
Alas here we are today, and my patria's volcanic emotions are on display for the world to see. First of all, dehumanizing your opposition is a dangerous game. Many of the Republicans I know are NeverTrump Republicans and they all have good reason and justification for their beliefs. We are humans, and we are accomplished rational creatures with firm convictions. We are not "useless" and we do contribute much to the political debate. A political system needs lively and enriching debates. At the coffeeshops, we need thinkers free to debate and discuss their deepest held convictions and through the art of arguing we may find solutions to the greater problems of the world. At the bookstores, the storehouses of knowledge and the libraries we need a revival of reading all we can get our hands on- especially ideas that challenge our own.
If you dehumanize your opposition it is unraveling everything we hold dear. Many of the greatest horrors in history have been caused by dehumanization. Wherever you stand on the political spectrum- we must speak against the dehumanization of minorities, immigrations and now the opposition.
There is a glimmer of hope through these shadows, perhaps this will create new dialogue and new ideas as we work to resolve our differences. How can you help? My dear citizen, speak to those who are different from you and hold different views. Learn the depths of why we believe what we do. Do you see people being dehumanized? Raise your voice for those who are and speak for equality and democracy.
I could go on for much longer but here I shall conclude my thoughts and observations. May liberty be our guide in all we do in life, may equality govern our thoughts and may we embrace humanity in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity!