"Trump is separating children from their parents! That's terrible!" "Yeah, but Obama did it, too!"
"Clinton used her personal email to send private information! Lock her up!" "Then we should lock Ivanka Trump up too, shouldn't we?"
We've all seen these back-and-forth arguments online and let's be honest here: they're annoying, repetative, and completely useless. You just don't get anywhere with conversations like these, and aren't they a little familiar? I could have sworn I'd heard conversations like these when I was younger... Maybe when I was in grade school?
Oh, that's right. It was when I was in elementary school and my classmates were justifying their actions to the teacher.
"But Mrs. Mortin! Cameron climbed over the fence first!"
Not exactly the most mature sounding, is it? Well, congratulations, Americans have turned into elementary-aged children. It's happened on both sides on the aisle and we've resorted to defending our political party rather than the morals we hold near and dear to our hearts.
Republicans and Democrats alike have fallen into this trap. Rather than admitting fault or criticizing the candidate we voted for, we have lost our ability to do so and instead are resorting to the "But s/he said..." behavior we exhibited as children.
Let's be frank here: it's ridiculous. We are all acting like children and we all suck when we do it. Justify away for all I care, but saying it's okay because someone on the opposite side did it? Or saying that it's okay because they identify with the party you do? And whataboutisms have become more common than critical thinking nowadays. It's silly at best, but can be dangerous. We begin to lose who we are and our ability to direct the country in the way we want to when we start to blindly defend our politicians.
But people don't really do this, right? It's just those crazies on Fox or CNN that say extreme things to keep ratings up, obviously.
Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but let's take a look at this article regarding the judgment on the Trump charities. Rather than thinking "Hmm, maybe he did do something wrong," they automatically said, "what about Clinton?"
Misdirection is a favorite as well. In an article about Michael Flynn's sentencing, rather than acknowledging that he did something bad while a part of the Trump administration, this was one of the top comments:
We, fully grown adults who vote, are losing the ability to articulate an argument and take responsibility for the actions of the people we've voted for. Democrats and Republicans are both now resorting to "he did/she did" arguments, pretending that one side can do no wrong while the other can do no right.
We need to stop doing this. We need to start thinking for ourselves and taking an active role in steering our country in a positive direction rather than sitting idly by and voting solely based on party affiliation. Otherwise, guess what? We'll sit on our butts, watching as our country swings from one extreme to the next every four years.
So stand up America because, right now, we all suck. Even if that's the only trait we share, we can unite in our ability to suck and make a positive impact on our country. Instead of looking at the past and excusing current behavior, let's look at the present, acknowledge the bad that we've done, and make sure it never happens again.