Updated: Nov 3
I'm not alone when I say I'm sick of politics. When people believe their side is the only correct way and the other side is ignorant, evil, low-class, selfish, snobbish, arrogant, sinful--that's when politics becomes full of hate. Both sides do it. It's called judging. There's no respect because being "wrong" makes the other person undeserving. No rolling up sleeves and looking for solutions--Republicans have to keep the public thinking they protect them from the Democrats--and vice versa.
It's one thing to dislike a political figure. It's another to pay heed only to the news sources that serve as a continuous feed of hatred toward that figure and those of the same ilk. Both sides do it. It's called spite.
Some people revel in the put-downs of an unpopular political figure--unpopular with their group. Never tire of it. Can't talk or think about anything else. Negative obsession.
Did you ever have a friend in junior high who developed animosity toward another kid? Did you want to hear about it all the time? That's what the political dialogue has become--a constant complaint. Calling names. Trading insults with no constructive discussions about solving the real problems of poverty, tax codes, crime, racism, war, or climate change. Immaturity.
I'm befuddled by arrogant, know-it-all, contentious liberals as much as by a self-righteous, status-quo, MAGA conservative (me judging). I've been to dinner with liberals who gushed over the wait staff who were members of a minority--gay or black, or even better, both! Then I've seen them turn around and be absolutely mean to the blond girl struggling because she cut her finger and it's wrapped in a clumsy bandage. "Too bad," they say with a shrug. I've hung out with conservatives who claim to be major Christians but haven't taken anything to heart that Jesus said.
Politics has never been civil. But at least it's been 160 years since we had a civil war because we couldn't work out our differences. It's scary to hear people say, "Let's have another civil war." When one group wants to force its will on someone else, that's when a war starts. When the South wouldn't give up slavery, that was worth a war. Pretty important issue.
Today I listened to a podcast by ABC reporter Dan Harris. I know some people, if they read this, will hit the exit button, just seeing "ABC." Harris interviewed a Buddhist teacher, Joan Halifax, who runs a center in Santa Fe. They dialogued about "equanimity." It's a complicated concept, but equanimity goes with compassion, loving-kindness (friendliness), and sharing others' joy. One illustrative story was this: A seeker asked a Buddhist monk who was meditating peacefully, "What would you do if you saw an airplane coming to bomb your village?" The monk responded, "I would pray for him." Jesus said, "Pray for your enemies." How many liberals can bring themselves to pray for Trump? How many conservatives prayed for Obama? There are so many windows through which to reach a higher consciousness, but it seems many prefer to hate.