I know we're all sick of this 2016 election already. Let's be real, we were tired of it before it even really began. I want to talk about politics without directly talking about politics. The truth of the matter is exactly what this article says, politics are not our country's problem right now, the people are.
"Of the people, By the people, For the people" are some of the most famous words spoken by one of the country's greatest leaders, Abraham Lincoln. This country, the Great (yes, I still believe in it's greatness) United States of America was founded on a belief that we would be run by and led by the people who care the greatest about their country. As years go on, we start to see that those same people we wanted to take care of our country are the "innocent" bystanders who are rioting in the streets, burning the American flag, shouting hate at people with a different opinion, and fighting for something other than the well-being of this country.
Who's to blame for our country being in the turmoil it's in?
We are blaming the politicians (not that they're perfect). We are blaming the liberals. We are blaming the conservatives. We are blaming the Muslims. We are blaming the Christians. We are blaming other countries. We are blaming everyone and everything other than ourselves.
I think we need to recognize a couple things:
1. Politicians are not perfect. They are not saviors. They will never run the country perfectly. Things may be fixed slightly, the economy might not crash, the streets may be a bit cleaner, and laws may be a bit more strict (or loose). The reality is there is no Utopia, and we certainly are not getting closer with this year's election.
2. No matter how a politician leads, the general public, the people of the United States of America, will make or break this country. A leader is there to lead, direct and guide as best as possible, but we the people are the ones who react to his/her leading or guiding. If we react poorly, we can't blame the president.
It's time we own up to our actions, reactions, vices and opinions. It's time for the people to take a healthy stance. Do you really want your presidential candidate to win at the cost of other's lives, at the cost of safety in the streets or safety at the conventions? Do you want them to win so badly that you'll ruin familial and friendly relationships in your life to "prove your point" or "win the argument?"
What are we fighting for, anyway?
Are we fighting for the candidate? Well, maybe. My guess is that the amount of people who don't like any of the candidates is greater than the people who actually genuinely care about and want to fight for one specific candidate. If you do, more power to you, but that's not the real fight.
Are we fighting for ourselves? After all, it is our country. Yes, we should want it to be beneficial for ourselves, but what about others. You fight for the wealthy to not have to give more, but have you thought about how it might affect the middle class or the poor? You fight for the poor, but is that because you are blaming the rich? Have you thought about how it might affect them?
Are we fighting just to be right? Social media has taken things way too far in this election season. It is like no other for multiple reasons, but I think why so many people hate it is because that's exactly what it is: hatred. People are spewing hatred left and right. There was a recent Odyssey article from a college student who was simply sharing her thoughts on why she was going to vote for Trump. You don't have to agree with it, but to the people who commented on it bashing her for her beliefs, and worse saying "Kill yourself," I'm tempted to tell you to take your own advice. I don't dare stoop to that level though.
Are we fighting for the betterment of our country as a whole? I'd venture to say no. When I think of a country, I think it is made up of and valued by the people in the country. Those people, we the people of the United States of America are what make this country great. So, in fighting for our own presidential candidate, we lose sight of the country as a whole. In fighting for ourselves, we lose sight of our neighbors, or the people we never even come into contact with. In fighting just to be right, we lose sight of our closest relationships who truly are the ones we should be staying loyal to, the family and friends who are always there for us. Don't throw away your loved ones just to win an argument.
What is so important at the end of this election? I can't answer that for you, the news can't answer that for you, even your friends or family can't answer that for you. Take some time and reflect on the recent arguments you've had - were they really worth the harm they caused? Did you say things that wounded a friend or family member? Is there constant tension in all your Facebook posts? Is it worth it, acting the way you're acting as you represent one of the Greatest Nations on Earth?
Will you be the one to make this nation greater by respecting others and the nation's standards, or will you let it down by standing up for yourself, your victorious arguments and your opinions at the cost of things that matter more?