Opinion: The Beauty of America – A Reflection

When it comes to politics in the United States, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Division abounds, with Republicans and Democrats claiming the other side wants the worst for our nation. Depending on who you listen to, the R’s and the D’s are either angels or spawns of Satan.

The truth, of course, lies somewhere in the middle. Both sides are trying to solve the same problems, albeit with different solutions. In this time of conflict, I would like to raise the call for free speech and civil discourse and to condemn violence in all forms. 

Everyone wants the best for America. Though the vision is the same, the goals (and execution of said goals) differ depending on where you fall on the political compass.

Issues are also of different importance on a state-by-state basis. The border state of Texas may be more concerned with immigration than the state of Rhode Island. Likewise, New York may have a bigger problem with climate change than Columbus, Ohio. 

This is normal and part of the reason that our country was established as a federation of states. Every state has different issues that are important to them and can advocate for itself. 

This usually leads to the election of different parties in different states. Ohio has become a red (Republican) state as demographic shifts and changing priorities in the rust belt have pushed the state right. In contrast, Georgia and Arizona have gone from Republican strongholds to toss-ups as the states inch left due to their demographic changes. Powered by retirees and Trump aficionados, Florida has become a safe bet for Republicans and so on. 

Party lines shift, and voting blocks change. This is normal, and it’s a good thing. 

We have to remember that it isn’t all red and blue. We’re all Americans, and we’re on the same team. We do it together, not as parties if we win or lose. And right now, we’re losing big-time. 

America’s perceived weakness on the world stage comes from internal bickering. A rise in politically motivated crimes, from the violent shooting of the Republican Congressional Baseball Team in 2017  to last week’s attack on Paul Pelosi, has a steep cost beyond the obvious ones. Yes, our politicians end up hospitalized, or worse. But the real tragedy comes when both sides weaponize these acts of hatred for fellow Americans in the arena of public thought. 

My first time hearing about the attack on Paul Pelosi was on Instagram. In fact, it was on a conservative meme page, making a joke about Pelosi being in the news twice for being “hammered” in recent memory (in reference to his DUI arrest a few months back). 

Never mind that this man was just violently assaulted. The jokes are always appropriate as long as it makes the other side look bad. And sadly, this is how most of America receives its news.

It’s not just Republicans, either. Democrats have spread rumors and lied to make the Republicans look bad more times than I can count. Remember when Democrats called for an FBI investigation of the pro-trump hate crime attack on Empire actor Jussie Smollett, only for it to come out that the whole thing was a hoax? I remember, but chances are that most Democrats don’t. Such is the partisan nature of selective memory. 

Weaponizing Americans against each other benefits only one group, and that’s the political duopoly that has been running our nation for the last century-and-a-half. As a nation, we must make a simple choice. To do the right thing or score cheap political points at the expense of our union. 

It’s obvious where this is heading, but I’ll say it anyway. 

It isn’t worth it to prioritize party politics over the nation. Ultimately, the party politics of the next mass shooter or the next congressman’s assailant aren’t important. What is important is that we, as Americans, don’t let anyone divide us.  

So remember, as you head to the polls, we’re all on the same team, solving the same problems. That’s the beauty of America.

Disclaimer: This article in no way reflects the views of The Cauldron and its staff. It only reflects the views of the columnist.