For those who think that former President Trump is a saint and President Biden is the devil, and for those who think Biden is a saint and Trump is the devil, I have news for you. Neither are either, and neither are both. They are politicians. They both do some stupid stuff and somehow manage to do good stuff, too. That’s just the way it is, and please, please realize you’re not going to change the minds of people who oppose your ideologies with all your slanted Facebook posts, most of which are concocted by Russians to promote hate in America (I learned that on Facebook).
Think about it. If half the people hate Trump and half the people hate Biden, it means half the country is always hating. Is that good for our country? I don’t think so. It also means whoever is elected in 2024, man or woman or other, is going to be hated by half of the country. Is that fair, considering we don’t even know who the next president will be? That person is already sentenced to be hated by half of us. Talk about an unfair state of affairs.
If a Republican is elected, Fox News will drool all over their proclaimed great president, while CNN will bash this person at every turn. If a Democrat is elected, CNN will fawn over them like a lovebird, and Fox will do their best to sear the president on the boob tube grill. So, no matter who is in the White House, he/she/it/him/her/them will be raked over the coals by one media group and praised by the other. Doesn’t that strike you as weird that our media companies, which are supposed to be independent, are clearly just pawns? They have chosen a political party to hang with, despite whether or not the actual president is worth a crap. They’re just catering to their audience. Gone are the days of ABC, CBS, NBC, and respected independent news people like Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, and Edward R. Murrow.
Yes, we have dug ourselves into a muddy ditch of hate and division, much like an Alabama/Auburn or Red Sox/Yankees rivalry. Who is mocking us? China, North Korea, Iran, Russia, and others who hate all of us because they are envious of our wonderful lives. Even though our country is awesome and our people are gracious and giving, we Americans are also so easily manipulated and have fallen into their evil trap. Social media is our enemy’s web, and we are so tangled up in it our rival countries are ready to come in and eat us alive.
So what’s the answer? Can we break this cycle of depressing news and chest puffing? Maybe you think this is trite, but we can look toward religion and music for guidance. Jesus said it. Love thy neighbor. The Beatles said it. All you need is love. The Dalia Lama, Desmond Tutu, the Pope, and many other spiritual leaders have tried to tell humanity that we need to have more tolerance and love and less hate and anger.
In politics, the pendulum swings back and forth. Does that mean when it swings away from you, you are going to live a life full of hate? And when it swings back, will there still be just as much hate coming at you? Are we stuck in a pattern whereby half of the country will always hate the other half? We are embedded in this cycle of intolerance, while the media and social media hacks are making a financial killing by pitting one American against another American. It’s really sick.
The fact is, most of the men and women in politics really do love America. Donald Trump loves America. Joe Biden loves America. Because this country has allowed them to live fabulous lives, get wealthy, and stay healthy. Whether you love or hate them, they are both patriotic Americans, in their own way, who have benefited tremendously from what America has given them. Even though the Dems and Reps go hard after each other, many of those in power have the good of our country in their hearts. Sure, there are plenty of scumbags who have gotten into politics for financial or personal gain. That will happen when greed is involved, and know this, greed is always lurking in the shadows, especially in Washington. Face it, Washington is always going to be swampy. It’s the nature of our government, but somehow democracy is still working better than any other form of government ever invented.
CNN, Fox, Facebook, and the rest are not helping, Nor are they healing our country. They give haters fuel to throw on the bonfire. They make money when their audience grows, so they feed us what we want to hear to keep us engaged in their bullshit. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that America is still the world’s greatest country despite all of the hate and division. We are the melting pot, the great experiment that is still kicking ass. Our music, our freedom, our movies and TV, our roads, our state and national parks, our economy, our football, baseball, basketball, and hockey are the best in the world, and that is why everyone still wants to live here in the land of hope, opportunity, and freedom.
My humble advice to my fellow ‘Mericans is to turn away from social media and turn off the news. Blow up your TV, as John Prine sang. Spend that time focusing on America’s greatness, not its faults. View the news with great skepticism, and form your own opinion using common sense. My grandfather told me at a young age, “Only believe half of what you see and none of what you read.” And that was more than 50 years ago. I’ve always followed his sage advice.
However, most importantly, doesn’t it make sense to spend your limited time on this earth bettering your local community? Maybe go volunteer at a soup kitchen. Help your neighbor when times are tough. Loan him your tools, even though he will probably break them. It’s just stuff, anyway. Treat your political opposites with respect; they’re still Americans. Join a community organization. Get involved in a church. Make a difference to the people you live near and see regularly. You can still be critical (in a civil way) about the swamp in Washington, but all that energy you’re spending on social media will not move the needle—not one degree. Posting your views is a true waste of precious time, and it just stirs the pot and creates enemies. Providing a meal, clothing, transportation, or job to your fellow man and woman will make you feel good, lift up someone in need, and put a brick in the foundation of America. That’s what America is all about. Helping each other, not hating each other. We’re still good at reaching out to the less fortunate. We just need to be better at it, like we used to be. And stop getting so damn worked up about a swamp that will always be a swamp no matter how the news or internet spins it.