Common ground: Both sides want America to be best she can

Published 1:14 am Wednesday, October 19, 2016

There’s a common theme among the majority of my friends and family the last few weeks.

Everyone is ready for the election to come and go already.

Granted, I only cast my first ballot in the Bush/Kerry election in 2004, but this is the most hostile election I’ve seen yet.

Maybe it’s because more and more people are on Facebook and there are more avenues to voice opinions. You know, everyone has an opinion and everyone wants to share his or hers.

People want to share whether they are pro-life or pro-choice, what their views are on gay rights, on #blacklivesmatter versus #bluelivesmatter, on women’s rights and economic inequality, immigration, and other hot topics.

That’s not what is getting on my nerves; I’m all for preservation of the First Amendment and I’m all for using it.

What has me miffed are crummy attitudes and incivility toward others.

It’s as if the election is bringing out the worst in everyone.

I’ve seen family members curse each other out and block each other because they support different candidates.

I’ve seen people call loved ones and friends “idiots” and “stupid” and things far worse than that because they disagree with them politically.

Some people have become irrational and literally harass those who don’t share their same thoughts.

I’ll be the first to admit I’ve gotten into a shouting match or two with my daddy about certain aspects of the election in which we disagree, and I’m certain that we will never agree on those things.

Luckily, we haven’t thrown any punches or cussed each other out – yet.

People on both sides believe everything that’s on the Internet or that is regurgitated to them, and I’ve yet to see a non-hostile debate.

But what gets me the most is that I highly doubt that most people would use the same language if it were face-to-face talks.

Have we become so polarized that we can’t have common respect for one another?

Isn’t part of the beauty of living in a free country?

I think everyone on both sides of the political spectrum should take a step back and remember that the First Amendment’s freedom of speech is guaranteed to each of us. We don’t get to pick and choose who gets that freedom.

We should all strive to have more respect for our friends and family, even if they don’t have the same beliefs as we do.

We can express our beliefs and our support for whomever with respect and dignity.

Do you refuse to respect your cousin because she’s Methodist and you’re Baptist? In most cases, I would assume not, but it’s not that with this year’s political climate.

Think about it, it takes one inflammatory debate over politics and we’re blocking each other on Facebook or we’re blocking numbers on our iPhones.

In the words of Nelson Mandela, “for to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

If we will all stop, take a deep breath and think clearly, though we may not have the same ideas as to how to get there, we are content on continuing to make our country the best in the world.

There’s some common ground for us all.


Kendra Majors is a reporter and editor for The Star-News.