I have come to the conclusion that we — as citizens and as humans — do not possess the ability to cohesively and peacefully disagree.
I recently had a discussion with my best friend about the recent Government Shutdown. She is a Republican and supports Donald Trump. In our discussion, I never said anything which directly insulted Trump (other than the mention of his approval rating as well as recommending a Google Search of Stormy Daniels), but since we happened to disagree in the realm of politics (which has become the most divisive issue in contemporary America), she didn’t see it as a discussion with two opposing viewpoints (point / counterpoint), but instead, she saw it as an argument or a fight.
Personally, I found the discussion quite interesting and fascinating as we discussed the merits of the Government Shutdown and how it was my opinion that Republican Senators may not be siding with Trump for fear of having their allegiance used against them in the next election cycle if Trump is impeached or indicted on one of the many allegations facing him (including rape, adultery, political corruption, and treason).
My statements merely formulated a theory regarding why members of the Republican legislature did not support Trump’s budget. But my best friend — whom I have known for over a decade — perceived this as an attack on her political ideation.
So here is my question: When did people lose the ability to constructively disagree? When did people lose the ability to discuss issues? Why is every disagreement now an argument or a fight? When did people — as a citizenry — become so adversarial rather than intellectual?
If I don’t agree with someone’s political opinions, why is that automatically perceived as a personal attack upon that individual? Why can’t two people have differing opinions on an issue, discuss that issue, present opposing views regarding the issue, and have it simply remain a discussion and not devolve into an argument?
Why are we so divided?
I love my best friend, and would never say anything insulting or demeaning. And yet, that is how she perceived our discussion, simply because my political viewpoints did not align with hers.
Is this America now?
Is this what America has become?
Is this what it now means to be an American?
If so, perhaps I should be thankful that I am no longer an American.
I guess I just wish people could have differing opinions without demeaning one another for them.
I guess I just wish people were allowed to think differently without it being some sort of inferior quality.
I guess I just wish people could agree to disagree — and actually have a discussion, not an argument.
I guess I just wish people were decent to each other.
God Bless America, right?