The political landscape in this country continues to devolve as herds of people flock to social media to make their opinions heard. No longer are political or societal disagreements discussed on a factual basis, but rather with memes, sarcasm and rudeness. Much of this changing tone in politics stem through the use of social media. While supporters of red or blue may have begun this unflattering tone as social media rose more than a decade ago, those who we depend on as leaders within our society have fallen into the trap and have furthered the divide in this country.
Social media has become an easy outlet for people not brave enough for real-life confrontation. Minions behind keyboards who couldn't hold their own in a face to face confrontation now have been given the new power of social media to make themselves feel strong and in control. That control has evolved into something vile filled with hate and disgust for anyone that may have a different opinion. Unfortunately, this kind of rhetoric is something we've grown accustomed to see every single day on social media not just from strangers, but from friends, family members and leaders. No doubt that friendships have been severed and families have been estranged because what was once a simple difference views has turned into something we all take much too personally.
We are all different. Our minds are wired to develop different opinions, traits and it's fair to say that not one of us will ever find one person we'll agree with 100% of the time. So why do we become some offended when someone else shares an opinion that is different than our own? What are we so afraid of? Whatever the case may be, this fear has led to a fury that has landed on social media. The anger over different ideas has only grown in the past several years. As the great Jedi master Yoda once said, "Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering," and I think we're seeing a good bit of that. With anger in politics at an all-time high the political spectrum as widened with more members of the far-left and far-right becoming prevalent leaders of this country. Extreme ideas will lead to extreme results that only increase strife between Americans and only lend to more suffering.
Examples of the endless bickering without a factual reasoning for a specific argument can be found on virtually any facebook or twitter page of a political group, news organization or politician across the country. Even our leaders take apart in this too whether it be name calling like from our President or the endless twitter feed of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez "calling out" those she disagrees with. Here's a recent tweet of President Trump's antics:
Here's a recent exchange of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Rick Scott
Sound bites and rude sarcasm seem to be the new way to score political points with constituents.
But perhaps it's not too late.
Perhaps if we work together to better express our opinions with fact and reason rather than with antagonization and malice our leaders will follow by example - they seem to have with the extreme, why not the other way around?
It's time to change our tone on social media. Turn the other cheek. Stop fighting fire with fire. See something you disagree with? Respond with well thought out facts. Don't use a tone filled with anger - but rather composure. Talk to those on social media like you would with a co-worker or better yet someone you respect above all others. Politicians are supposed to be representatives of us. They follow in the footsteps of the example we set, of the things we say and the way we act. Conventional thinking would suggest it should be the other way around, but it's not a perfect world and politicians have never been nor will never be perfect. To set the country on a better path, it starts with you and me. Better people, better leaders. Most of all, if we can improve the tone of the people and find peace and compromise amongst ourselves, any damage or divisiveness our leaders produce, can be overcome by the power of the people.
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