I’m writing just to write. Maybe that isn’t great, but I feel like I need to write. I have a couple half baked ideas that I need to do more research on (Politics in Sports, Why Sean Waltman (X-Pac) is the most underappreciated wrestler of his era, Losing yourself in outer space and its limitless potential), but nothing that I feel comfortable putting pen to paper (heh) on right now.
Mostly I’m in this bizarre place every time I look at where this country and the Trump presidency are. I always make the mistake of hitting the trending hashtag on Twitter and it brings up an unfiltered view of what EVERYONE thinks. Because that is who speaks up on Twitter. Everyone. Maybe that’s a good thing, maybe it’s a terrible thing. It’s certainly giving people a place to feel like they are being heard.
That’s why I’m struggling. Normally on Twitter, I’m in my own little bubbles (comedy, video games and baseball on my main account; wrestling on my other), seeing viewpoints that I agree with or people who’s opinions I trust (hence the reason I’m following them on Twitter in the first place). But when I do the deep dive and click on trending hashtags, especially about politics, I see how the other half sees it.
Example: Today, Donald Trump said some really dumb things, made more baseless accusations about the media and blew off a really serious issue regarding Russia. My normal twitter feed got a little angrier, had a few laughs and reassured my views on everything. But when I see how the other half sees it, it’s jarring. They think he scored a big victory on us stupid liberals, our ideals and our attack of their beloved president. Normally, in a normal administration, that would be fine. Yeah, the Bushes and Reagans of the world did stuff we didn’t like and we got upset about it, but I could at least see why the other half liked what they did. I can’t quite comprehend why people today are so happy with the way things are going. I suppose he is doing exactly what he promised them (at least when it comes to the really abhorrent stuff, like the wall, the ban and repealing all the “bad” stuff Obama did), and that’s what they want. Maybe they can gloss over the bad because of all the “good, or they believe Trump’s story when he tells them it’s fake news? I don’t know. But maybe I want to know.
Here is the biggest problem with where we are headed: there is no happy resolution.
The powers that be, on both sides, have spent the last 20 or so years villainizing the other half. So now that we are dug into our trenches on either side, we can’t see things how the other half does. A lot of that is the information people are receiving, or lack thereof. I can understand quite a few reasons why people would vote Republican. I can even find myself agreeing with quite a few of them (fewer taxes would be dope, if unrealistic). But because we have demonized each other for so long (and more aggressively over the last handful of years), you seemingly can’t have a conversation with the other side without it ending in someone getting called a Fascist or a Cuck.
So how do we bridge that gap? I have no idea. I’d like to get all pie-in-the-sky and say “have an open and mature conversation with a friend or family member with the differing viewpoint”, but is that really enough? If we confirm with our friends why we feel the way we do, why they feel the way they do and then we are right back where we started and you are just left to quietly steam over how much you fucking hate that person for their viewpoint. But hey, at least no one got called any names!
I don’t believe the internet is really the place to find it either. There is a certain bravado that the shield of anonymity of the internet provides, and that won’t get you any real answers. But do you really want to seek out Joe Random on the street and ask him why he feels the way he does about immigration, healthcare or media bias? Does he care to tell you? Will he be honest?
I do truly believe good will win out, and the rampant racism, sexism and all other hatred will fade to the background again. But once it does, will we be able to look at the other half the same way ever again?
To lighten the mood a bit at the end here, I did find a twitter profile who’s header was this hilarious drawing of Jesus helping Trump sign a bill. I shit you not.