I want to start off by condemning the acts committed by white supremacists in Charlottesville. The “Alt-Right”, a guise adopted by ultra-conservative whites in this country, is a pseudo-political alignment striving for white supremacy. Their belief system is not in line with American virtues and has no place in this country. However, I believe that our nation has finally reached a discourse in racially fueled violence. Both the Radical Left and Radical right have killed for the sake of their perspective causes, further perpetuating angst and hatred amongst this country’s citizens. Political Radicalism, both violent and non-violent, is plaguing this nation. For this, I believe that it’s time for the American people to take a step back and shut their mouths for a moment.
It’s not a difficult task – simply press your lips together, breathe through your nose, and listen. The greatest thing about shutting your mouth is that you might just actually learn something from somebody. You may learn about their perspectives on life, perhaps see how those perspectives originated, and maybe, just maybe, you could begin to understand those who are different than you.
Keeping one’s mouth shut can often be difficult, considering that most of us are so enamored with ourselves that we can accept our faults. Many Americans express their angst over social media nowadays, which has provided the common folk with a public platform (a good thing) that many believe certifies them as an expert on any given topic (a bad thing). In actuality, the individuals expressing the strongest opinions over social media are usually the most grievously misinformed people out there.
Those individuals frequently preach radicalism, and are returned with a cultish following. No, I am not speaking about radical Islamic terror, though some may not understand what radicalism truly is on its own. Radicalism, in any sense of the term, calls for a dramatic systematic reform or change, and you can see this in American politics every day. It doesn’t matter if you’re the overly zealous Republican trying to “Drain the Swamp”, or the hyper-left liberal preaching for socialist reform, when you are way “out there,” you’re participating in radicalism. You may not be as extreme as the progressive social justice warriors rioting in the streets (great way to strive for peace), or the alt-right neo-Nazis spreading racial hatred, but radicals of either persuasion are members of the worst demographic in America.
Your preaching of radical ideologies is forced on “normal” Americans on a continuous basis. Your major media personalities and personal affiliates are masters of perpetuating your own dogma and self-serving rhetoric. Radicals are incapable of listening to the other side, and use their own opinions to sway the undecided (or weak-minded citizens) within this country. While I may identify as a Democrat, that doesn’t mean that my personal ideologies aren’t relatively centric. That does not mean that I can’t participate in a conversation with our other writer, Pops (R), and understand his perspective. The way I do this is by shutting my mouth (as challenging as it may be sometimes) and listening. At times, though Pops would never admit this on his end, we can even admit to being wrong. Crazy concept. A lot can be learned by listening to those with opposing views. I’ve been taking a break from posting for a while because I simply don’t have the patience to watch the “News”. The American people turn on “Fox & Friends”, or CNN’s “New Day”, and hear them preach their perspective messages as if it were the word of God. In reality, both are slightly less savvy versions of “The View” with a political twist. To the American people, I challenge you to do something. Wake up and read from a publication with an opposing view. Participate in a discussion with someone whose political affiliation differs from your own, and attempt to understand where they’re coming from. Trust me, it may be difficult at first, but you can do it.
I’ll leave you with this: If everyone does nothing but speak their piece, but nobody listens to what is being said, how will we ever make progress?
Pops Responds: Nobody ever learned anything from words that came out of their own mouth.