This is going to be a little bit of a rant, so if it seems like I forgot to breathe at times, don’t worry I assure you I’m alright. 🙂
We’ve all heard the tone of those who voted for Trump, maybe they were third party voters, or didn’t vote at all “let’s give him a chance”, “let’s see how he does”, “I am going to support him since he’s my president”. As nauseating as this can be, there is something worse to me that’s driving me up the wall.
“You’re being divisive”.
This is hard for me to understand. Look, there is no question that we are a nation very much divided right now, and we need to, somehow, try to unite as a people. There is no question about that. During the past 8 years I heard people say all sorts of ridiculous things about Obama being a socialist, death panels, taking away everybody’s guns, and host of fabricated tales mean to discredit the president and his administration. I tried presenting counter information without name calling. I did not see their disagreement as divisive, just somebody who wasn’t informed or had a different point of view. I never accused anybody of being divisive.
Now all of a sudden everybody on the right is concerned about how divided this nation is, and at that by opposing Trump’s terrible ideas we are being divisive. When the right said they didn’t like the ACA, did anybody tell them to shut up they are being divisive? That they aren’t helping? To get behind the president?
I am a scientist. I try to base my opinions based on something, and defend my point of view. Sometimes my information isn’t the best and I own up to it. But when my disagreement is being labeled as divisiveness, this is pure distortion and I will not take ownership of that label. I’m not being derisive to people personally, but I will challenge ideas that I think are harmful. And these people who label me as being divisive were never calling out people on their own side for the same behavior. I mean if you know a large portion of the country is pro-choice…shouldn’t you tell your pro-life friend to stop posting videos of bloody fetuses on Facebook? Never seen that happen once. Never seen a Republican tell the birther’s they were being divisive. I’ve never seen a Republican ever tell another Republican they are being divisive for posting something that the other side disagrees with. But all of a sudden liberals are all divisive. We are the ones causing division.
It’s not divisive to make abortion illegal, to normalize sexual assault, to call scientific consensus a hoax, to label illegal aliens as drug dealers and rapists, to build a giant wall, to freeze immigration on refugees if they are Muslim, to say gay people can’t marry the people they love, to say you are going to lock up your political opponent in jail….an entire campaign run entirely on divisiveness.
And because I not only resist those notions, but can defend those positions with evidence and statistics, that is deemed divisive.
Look, I am not saying their aren’t a great deal of liberals calling people names, or calling Trump names gets us nowhere and is arguably divisive. But posting tips for activism, pointing out hypocrisy, presenting one’s viewpoint in a reasoned manner should not be seen as divisiveness. One person, who dropped me off of Facebook, even told me that my divisiveness was of the kind that would lead to war. And this was somebody who told me that she doesn’t vote for any party that doesn’t support banning abortion and told me Trump would restore morality to the country.
So I’m not sure what you want from me. If it’s silence, that isn’t going to happen. I am going to keep presenting what I think are informative and well-argued articles, and I am still going to reasonably explain why I think a certain action or ideology is wrong. People act like I don’t spend a great deal of time trying to understand other points of view, I’ve reached across the aisle more than anybody has reached across to me to understand my point of view and I’ve actually adjusted a number of my positions on issues as a result of it.
So when somebody who denies the existence of climate change is put in charge of the EPA, or a white nationalist is put on the National Security Council, or a completely unqualified person is put in charge of the Department of Education and you are silent about it. You are the one being divisive. You are the one who voted for someone who used divisiveness as a tactic to win your support. I am speaking out because you won’t, because I feel we will all lose at the hands of the people in charge of government.
And in the end, if you still think that’s being divisive, well then I can accept that, because I have no business being on the side of someone who, if they find my viewpoint disagreeable, can’t engage in civic discourse about it. I still bear you no ill will, but I have a country to worry about and I really don’t have time for your hypocritical judgment.