Today is the most monumental day regarding elections in recent memory. The battle for the soul of the nation, as some may put it. And the battle for the soul of a nation it is. Never has there been such an environment of animosity, hatred, doubt, uncertainty, and fear. The closest match to this might have been the 2008 elections between McCain and Obama. Altogether, this election season is nothing compared to what many may be remembering.
The sheer and extreme partisanship of the elections, the craze of those supporting either of the candidates, is almost reminiscent of Berlin during the elections of 1932. There, Communists, Nazis, and Social Democrats battled it off in the street and at the polls. Fear, intimidation, and uncertainty ruled the day. With harassment, those on the extreme left and extreme right hoped to coerce the population into voting for their respective parties. Fear of the Communist wave or fear of fascism overtook a German population still experimenting with democracy.
Currently, although the United States is not fresh off the boat in practicing democracy, the American people find themselves in circumstances like those in Europe in the early 1930’s. On the one hand we have people on the Right whose enemy (at this point, politics, instead of having “opponents”, now roams with “enemies) are Antifa, socialists, feminists, atheists, the left-wing media, Democrats, abortion supporters. On the other hand, we have the people on the Left believing that a Trump win is a win for Nazis and Fascists, plus the destruction of civil liberties.
Whether on the Left or the Right, the ridiculousness of this partisanship, of this “my road or nothing” spirit is just dumbfounding. How can such a people with vast amounts of information at their fingertips be persuaded by unfounded reports and videos? Have we really become slaves to the social media monster? Are we really that susceptible to the claws of political parties? The extreme left-wing claims that Trump and his administration is guilty of labeling people and stripping away at liberties. The only thing is, they themselves are the first ones to be guilty of labeling people. They themselves are guilty of placing a cage around each individual and telling them how to think on social issues. Any deviations from their way of thought is considered outright abnormal, wrong, mistaken. The extreme right-wing, on the other end of the line, considers everything that contains the word “liberal” or is framed as “socialist” to be ungodly, rejecting the Kingdom of Heaven, not biblical, radical. C’mon, seriously? Is defending the environment from global warming going to bring about the Apocalypse? Is giving back to the poor in some form or another considered anathema to the Bible? Is reforming the police even by a bit going to cut down on much needed protective services?
Surely, cutting down police funding is a bad idea. New York did it in the 1970’s and…well…it didn’t go that well. We are living in an age where any little thing bothers us. Any opinion immediately alerts us. Any commentary is subject to cancelation. These election months has blown the lid off the pot and showed us our weaknesses as a people. We need to be more informed. Yes, it is hard to keep up, but 3 minutes of informing oneself about an issue will certainly help a lot. Fox News, CNN, BBC, Al-Jazeera, Breitbart, MSNBC, any other news outlets you may read off, make sure you make rational connections out of often irrational information. Otherwise, we, as a polity, have failed.