The Left Is Ruining America

The Left Is Ruining America

How the absence of common sense and the rise of liberalism is tearing society apart.
915
views

Read the title of this article again.

Now, how are you feeling right now? Odds are you either identify with the title and clicked because you are looking for continued information on how our society’s decay is being fostered by the “liberal elite" Or perhaps you clicked because you felt attacked somewhat by the title and are curious as to what grievances I have against liberalism.

The fact that we feel first and tend to think later is a growing problem in an age of opinion pieces and partisan politics. Regardless of your position, our tendency to focus on an “us vs them” mentality and focus on victory in argument instead of substance is damaging to say the least. I often see arguments online or even in person that seem exceedingly hostile. When one takes issue with a certain political position or view others see this and tend to assume that individual is aligned with a certain set of political views and that there is no middle ground. Just because someone disagrees with another person on a particular issue does not mean that there isn’t room to work and come to a more equitable consensus.

This divide is further compounded by the way technology is continually isolating us from one another. When one clicks on an article from a conservative news site such as Fox News on social media sites such as Facebook, there are algorithms that take note of this fact and will continue to show that person conservative viewpoints. The same goes for more liberal leaning news sources. The major issue with this isolation is that it isn’t conducive to any productive debate. When different sides do encounter each other, the debates are often short and both sides usually walk away without really trying to understand the other.

Some of my friends are quick to discount the opinions of individuals who support Donald Trump purely because of that simple fact, but that is just as ignorant as those individuals who discount views just because they are left leaning. Often people aren’t exposed to the real reasoning behind another person’s views. A white man from a small majority white town who lost his job to outsourcing may not see the drug war and mass incarceration as a major racial issue and instead may wonder “why can’t those people just follow the law.”

Unfortunately, if that individual would enter into a discussion with that viewpoint, he or she may find themselves a subject of ridicule rather than a person in need of education. Pair these misunderstandings with a host of other types of cognitive bias and you have a recipe for disaster.

I see it all around me, people not thinking of a middle ground or other solutions, but only focusing on winning an argument, prevailing over the other side. I recently encountered an individual I am familiar with complaining about those who use welfare effectively leeching off the state and how they need to get a job, probably trying to get a rise out of me and having me argue the position of how the state needed to support those less fortunate.

This was not an uncommon occurrence. I could see it in his eyes, he was waiting to attack me for defending the state and being a bleeding heart liberal. He was surprised when I postulated the alternative idea that we should be focusing on automation of all professional tasks and that having everyone in a state working constantly should not be a necessity at all of the modern era, that universal basic income could help everyone to thrive while employment in a secondary economy for non automated tasks could be voluntary and not compulsory.

He seemed confused as I explained my ideas not knowing how to attack them. People often attack and dismiss ideas instead of collaborating to find solutions these days. Taking sides is often the worst way to help solve a problem together. It is not enough to look side to side on this issue, one must also look above and behind to see the real reason for divide. Who is profiting off of the war between right and left? Those who own media corporations make a pretty penny shaping the minds of their viewers on the right and the left.

In fact someone is profiting off of you reading this article right now. Whenever someone says “The left”, “The Conservative right”, “Liberals” or any other generalized mass of people to make their point, it often means they are not saying something of substance and are instead trying to score a victory for some other end. I hope this article helps people to be more mindful about the danger of conflict and opposition in trying to solve the problems of the modern world, I am eager to hear your opinions about this ongoing problem and what you all have seen in your daily lives pertaining to this issue.

Cover Image Credit: NPR

Popular Right Now

An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
115120
views

What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

It's Hard To Stay Friends With A Kavanaugh-Lover, But It's Possible

Or hater.

798
views

If you don't have your head buried in the sand these days, it's impossible not to realize how viscerally raw most people's political emotions are. And unless you live in a bubble, you likely have friends or family who have very different political beliefs with you. If you want to cut off those relationships, read no further. But if you view your relationships more T. D. Jakes style—"I like to see myself as a bridge builder, that is, me building bridges between people […], between politics, trying to find common ground"—then play on.

Before beginning a conversation with a politically-differing friend, put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself: what aspects of their life might have influenced them in this way? Accept that you just don't know what their experiences have been like. Maybe your gun-supporting friend had her house traumatically burglarized when she was quite young; maybe your friend who believes the government should solve all our problems was only able to get hot lunches at school because of government aid. View it as a thought experiment if you will: imagine a sympathetic reason (rather than a judgment-worthy reason) that your friend has this differing viewpoint.

We have two ears and one mouth. Ask them questions and then genuinely listen. As humans, we often listen to respond, not to understand. Try to understand without demonizing or judging your friend. David Livingstone Smith, author of Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave, and Exterminate Others, said that when we dehumanize or demonize others, it acts as: "a psychological lubricant, dissolving our inhibitions and inflaming our destructive passions. As such, it empowers us to perform acts that would, under other circumstances, be unthinkable." Try to accept that your friend's point of view—no matter how much you disagree with it—is (in their eyes) just as valid as your own. Your goal is to listen first, persuade later, argue rarely (or never).

It's not about you. Your friend's support of Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court means just that: they think he should have been confirmed. Or if they are angry that he got confirmed, it means just that: they think he should have not been confirmed at the time. Use our earlier thought experiment: perhaps the supporter found fault in the accusations against Kavanaugh or genuinely viewed it as a false accusation, and (whether that happened here or not), we can agree a false accusation is concerning. It doesn't necessarily mean that they think the assault he was accused of is okay—perhaps they think any form of sexual assault is utterly appalling and should never be tolerated, but just didn't happen here. Your friend's view is not personal to you, no matter how personal it may feel.

There's a difference between supporting a politician and supporting an action. If your family member voted for Trump, that doesn't mean they support his personal behavior. (If they DO—that's a different story.) It's like watching Lady Bird (great movie) and someone saying that means you think all children should treat their mother like Lady Bird treats hers. The two could be equated but aren't necessarily. Have you ever gone to the theaters and seen a movie that had elements you didn't agree with or like? The same can be said for politics.

If it seems appropriate, when they are done sharing and seem receptive to conversation, share why you may disagree with them. Times to NOT share: if they are angry or closed off. (Observe both their words and their body language. If their voice was raised or their arms are crossed, not the time.) If they just shared something vulnerable with you (eg. they are vehemently pro-choice because they've been assaulted and got an abortion), now is not the time.

Remember, your goal is not to argue, but to listen and then to persuade. If they're not in a place where they can listen to you being persuasive—then let it go and try again some other time.

When you got skin in the game, you stay in the game. However—sometimes you shouldn't always maintain these relationships. Politicians your friends support don't necessarily fully reflect who your friends are, but political views are an aspect of who they are. To use the above analogy: when you see a movie at the theater, you are supporting it. Even if you disagree with it and warn your friends away, you still paid for the ticket.

And sometimes you don't. Understand when you need to disengage. It's okay to have some things you can talk about civilly and rationally and some things that you just can't. If my friend thinks communism is the way to go, for example, I am able to speak respectfully and rationally about it. But if a person tries to support child abuse, I absolutely cannot have a conversation with them where I try to understand where they're coming from and listen to them without telling them how wrong they are. It's okay to have some topics that mean so much to you that you can't engage with all of them or respect every differing point of view.

When you win, be gracious. And lastly, if you supported Kavanaugh, your friends who opposed his quick confirmation are crushed right now. It's okay if you think that's silly or not a big deal. But go back to the first point: put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if some political issue you felt really strongly about was dealt a crushing blow? You'd want the people on the winning side to be gracious, or try to understand, or at least not rub it in. Maybe you didn't like how the situation unfolded, but your guy's in now. Think of the golden rule and be kind to your friends who are struggling with this.

Just remember:

"Be sure when you step—step with care and great tact. And remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft—and never mix up your right foot with your left."
Dr. Seuss.

Related Content

Facebook Comments