The current state of our country worries me.
I don't claim to have the answers. In fact, I'm not sure anyone does.
Neither the upper, middle, and lower class citizens; nor the senate or congress.
Not the president and his staff.
Which only serves to make the situation all the more depressing. If there's no clear solution, how can we solve this problem?
I don't want to debate politics with anyone. That's not the purpose of this post, and please note that I'm purposely leaving out to which political party I'm registered.
None of that matters.
What does matter is the level of rage, hate, and downright meanness I've seen across both 'sides' of this battle. And it is on both sides.
I'm in the habit of scrolling right past all politic-bashing posts. I refuse to be drawn in to an argument or debate where there are surely no winners.
I have friends and followers on both sides of the line, which means my news feed is equally filled with all kinds of political posts.
Some of them make me hang my head in shame. People mocking each other. Belittling other's opinions. Disrespecting everyone that has a differing viewpoint.
Again, I see it equally from both sides.
And it makes a wave of pure sadness fill my soul.
On television commercial's smear-ad campaigns, on the news, posted on social media, and in everyday conversations, the divide is real.
I see both sides contradict each other, fighting over just about any topic, and I'm scared.
Looking back through the history of my life, I can't remember a time when we have seemed so desperately lost as a nation.
I dream of a country not torn in two - the red versus the blue - but of a country united. The red, white, and blue together as one.
We are brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors. And we all have opinions. I know I have plenty of them.
But here's what we need to be reminded of.
Just because someone has a different opinion on a topic than you do does not mean you are right and they are wrong. Conversely, it also does not mean that they are right and you are wrong. Most issues aren't that clear-cut anyway.
Here’s another point to keep in mind. I may belong to a political party, but that does not mean that I agree with everything that party believes, says, or does.
I'm so weary of hearing about Democrats and Republicans, Liberals and Conservatives.
They are just four words. Words that we've allowed to have too much power in our nation.
We are so much more than that.
I have a wish. I wish I could write away the controversy. Invent a magical solution to make things right. Use fiction to solve the problem.
I dream of a place where we could cast our political parties aside.
A government where we wouldn't have to worry about who has the majority in the senate, because our representatives would vote from the heart and for the greater good, not just to align with their party.
But it's truly just a fantasy. I know the odds of that happening, and they're not good.
Besides, if we removed the current parties it would not make all the hostility disappear overnight. Other parties would form under new names, and the same division would resurface.
I may not have the answers.
But I do know one thing.
Democrats and Republicans can get along, even within the same household.
I know this because my husband and I are registered on different sides of that political party line, and for 28 years we've debated, argued, agreed, and disagreed on political matters.
And somehow, we still love and respect each other. We still like each other, despite our differences.
At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter whether you are registered to vote as a Democrat or a Repulican. Your political party does not define who you are.
What matters is that we all live here together. We share this country.
We are not enemies.
We are not at war.
We are American citizens just trying to find our way.
Open your heart and love one another.
And when you debate, remember to do it with respect.
That's the key to bringing us back together. Whatever your political party or beliefs.
Kristen L. Jackson, Author of KEEPER OF THE WATCH
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