Clearly much of the he said she said we’ve been consistently exposed over the past few years has had very little to do with the election. In fact I dare say in many cases it didn’t even have anything to do with discontent towards the political system. Is the system flawed at best, failed at worst? Most definitely. But that does nothing to explain those who are expressing anger in ways that do nothing to help move us forward. On both sides. Yesterday I listened to an interview with NBA Hall of Famer and author Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who when asked what he felt about the protests responded by saying something to effect of, to make change we must use the political platform and that taking to the streets will do almost nothing to create actual change. Many are expressing their anger and their fears and I get that. To do so violently however, shows this is more about personal anger and exploitation than it is about change.
That by no means is the only thing going on here though. The amount of hate I have witnessed since the election from people who should be happy, after all their guy won, is besides being disturbing, very revealing and enlightening. You see, many people hate just for the sake of hating. Many people take their own personal frustrations and anger out on anyone they can, and whether their candidate wins or loses, the candidate they say will fix all their ills, these people are still angry and miserable.
I had 2 very interesting incidents take place in the past 24 hours. The more positive and encouraging one was with a relatively new friend, a retired New York City policeman and avid Trump supporter. Since the election almost every one of his emails to me, whether they were his view or the views of others, were focused more on a joy and relief towards the outcome of the election. Although I don’t share his glee and optimism, I do however appreciate how his general approach since the election has been one more of excitement to the future, not a continuing rebuke towards half of the country. Something both sides should stop. He expressed to me that my accolades towards him may be somewhat misplaced, but when he said the following, “MY ANGER IS FUELED BY A LOVE FOR THIS GREAT COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE”, I responded by saying to him, I have issue with the people who are just angry for the sake of being angry and are narcissists exploiting the political climate. So accolades remain in place.
The other incident tells another story. It involves someone I first called a friend in my teens and someone I reconnected with over the past 5-10 years. Over the years this person has expressed a total lack of tolerance for anyone holding a different view, to the point of accusing Jews such as myself with different views from his as being as dangerous as those who clearly want to kill the Jewish people. Despite how offensive that concept is to me, I remained close enough to at least view his remarks and occasionally interact. When I expressed a view that I was willing to show objectivity in the name of fairness and what is good for the country, even though I was on “the other side”, I got the following response. You’re right: a candidate with openly close anti Semitic and anti Zionist aides, advisors and financiers would have been better, David. There is no other side , just like there is no other side of a cliff. One side your on the cliff and the other side is off the cliff. Voting for Jew haters would be the latter, especially from a child of Holocaust survivors. Attack you ? Pshaw, nothing I could say could undermine you more than your own actions.
Soon after this post I chose to unfriend this individual. Why? Not because we held different political views, not because he was almost vicious in how he expressed them when the stakes were at their highest, but because even now, when for all intents and purposes he got the change he wanted, he still spews angry venom, and at this stage of the game it is clearly more about his personal and deep anger than it is about ideology, and I have no desire for that in my life.
That being said, I also have no use for criminals. If you vandalize stores, attack law enforcement or take violent action against any fellow human being, your protest means nothing to me. You are not fighting for any cause other than to fight. I have always felt that fighting for a purpose is not only justified, it is often righteous. Fighting as a means of releasing anger or hate or merely out of the love of fighting is the furthest thing from righteous. It’s more often than not meaningless and destructive.
I urge all people to continue to fight for what they believe in, as I intend to. What no one should tolerate is a fight fueled by hate and anger, for whether it comes from the left or the right, that fight ends in destruction and often catastrophe. Unite, express and fight, but do so with respect and love for your country and fellow human being, and in doing so your fight will have more meaning and purpose.
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