Donald J. Trump was sworn in Friday as the 45th President of the United States of America. His road to the presidency was marked with controversy, confusion, increasing tension between the country’s liberals and conservatives, and a new way to look at the country. These next four years will be marked by the very same things, and it is important to be prepared and aware of what is to come. Because, after all, what happened during the last year could be only the beginning.
The tension between the two American political views is unlikely to lighten up, and both sides are bound to blame the other for this increasing fracture. With that, comes hypocrisy, haughtiness and hatred – The Three H’s, so to speak. Hypocrisy has always been a problem between the liberals and the conservatives, with one accusing the other of the same faults that they have. For example, some conservatives are saying liberals are acting like sore losers over the election of Trump. Yet, not too many conservatives handled the election of Barack Obama quite well either. Meanwhile, some liberals would criticize conservatives as being small-minded and ignorant, while they can also be the same exact way. The only difference is the issues at hand, such as gun control, same-sex marriage, immigration, Black Lives Matter, and many more.
And that is where haughtiness comes in. Both sides claim to have all the answers and know what is best for the country. Granted, all countries have this problem, but how many have a long-standing two party system with little room for a third or even fourth political party?
Anyway, it is the way the liberals and conservatives act and behave that gives way to arrogance. Like the aforementioned example of some liberals call conservatives ignorant and prejudiced for not seeing eye-to-eye with those previously mentioned issues. In return, some conservatives call liberals intolerant and ignorant about those same issues. Conservatives may criticize liberals are being intolerant despite the liberal insistence that they are tolerant. Liberals may criticize conservatives for not being compassionate despite many conservatives following Christianity, a religion of compassion. Conservatives may say Obama divided this nation even more when it comes to race issues, while liberals may also say the same thing about Trump.
Arrogance is responded with anger, and anger often gives way to hate. With that comes slander, smearing an entire group with the same brush, and total fear. When Obama was elected, supporters of Obama were seen as communists, atheists, tree-hugging hippies. There were even allegations that liberals did not believe a baby was a human being until it reached the age of two, therefore allowing late-term abortion.
Now with Trump in the White House, his supporters are all being seen as ignorant country hicks, white supremacists, misogynists, homophobes, Islamophobes, and so on.
Let’s not forget that while these allegations may be true – may be! – for both groups, it is not true for all. Again, painting an entire group with the same brush. Generalizing. Everyone’s guilty of it at one point. But in today’s America, it has gotten out of hand.
As a result, more tension, perhaps not seen since the 1860s, back when this country had a bloody civil war. Some Americans wonder if there will ever be another civil war, and probably dread it will happen this time around (though they feared the same thing when Obama was elected, and when Bush 43 was reelected in 2004, and nothing like that happened).
Now granted, some radicals on both sides will be more than happy to start another civil war in this country. Just look at the protestors at Trump’s inauguration smashing windows and lighting cars on fire. And just take note of the militia groups who were willing to start warfare if Hillary Clinton won instead.
But the vast majority of Americans do not want a civil war, and likely are not happy with all the tension and hate going on in the country these days – even though most Americans carry some degree of The Three H’s in their hearts.
So what to do? We’ve got four years before the next election, and who knows what will happen then. Trump may be reelected. He may not. Another Democrat will rise to prominence to combat him in 2020.
But there’s no point in waiting until 2020 to change America or to keep it going. The time is now to make it better or to keep things going the way they are.
What to do? Take away The Three H’s. Lessen the hypocrisy, lighten up the haughtiness and get rid of the hate. Listen to each other. Understand not only why someone voted for Trump or didn’t, but why they want the America that they want. Ask why someone believes climate change is real, and if not, why. Ask why someone believes Black Lives Matter is legit movement, and if not, why. Ask why someone believes Roe v. Wade should be overturned, and if not, why.
If you love America, truly love America – its history, its culture, its Constitution, its democracy – you would do all these things. Unfortunately, too many Americans love only one America, and that is whatever one fits their political views, while scorning the other side as anti-American.
Now it will be tough to be open-minded enough and be flexible enough to talk to someone. Both liberals and conservatives are guilty of wanting the other side to agree with them in every way, and are willing to preach to the choir, even if they have to take the rude and bullying approach.
So, it will take a major chill pill and a big piece of humble pie to get rid of The Three H’s. And we’re all in this together, whether we like it or not.
Liberal or Conservative. You seem to have only two choices in this country.
But in truth, it is love or hate. Those are the only two choices every American has now.