By Blaney Pridgen
All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.
I don’t remember our nation being so polarized since the era of the Vietnam War in the late 60’s. Actually, I believe our polarization now is worse than then. It’s more like the South during the days of integration. Everyday folk are fighting mad and I’m not using “fighting” figuratively. In that regard, I am concerned about the aftermath of November 3rd. With this in mind, I offer an imaginary scenario, which might help us all chill.
Conjure your personal polar opposite. It doesn’t matter how red or blue you are, even purple. (I guess if you are truly purple, then you’ll need to conjure two opposites.) Think about them in their worst cartoon versions and how awful they are in your estimation. Think about the things they believe which drive you up a wall. Don’t leave out all of the religious and political notions they embrace. Dwell on the news networks they prefer: FOX, MSNBC, CNN, PBS, or none. Which South Carolina beach do they prefer? Come on. You know. Now, think about how they vote. Raise up the heat in your head until smoke is coming out of your ears.
Done? That wasn’t so hard was it? Now, imagine all of those folks just disappear overnight. Zip! They are gone. I realize that some of us will be conflicted about this, since we may be dealing with relatives. Anyway, just imagine this. Wouldn’t this be a convenient population adjustment?
Consider this world. Nothing would need to be great again. Bold new measures would be easier to achieve. Everyone would believe just like you or if not, they would be easily convinced by your wisdom to change their almost bad tendencies. Family gatherings may be smaller but a lot less tense. You wouldn’t mind which movie or series you stream…you would like them all. Most everyone would behave on the highway, except the elderly and teenagers who can’t help themselves. Action groups and concerned organizations and militias would fade away. The Supreme Court wouldn’t have many cases to hear and the ones they did would all receive a unanimous decision. No one, especially you, would ever be pissed off.
Do you like this nation you have imagined? I am afraid some of us would, which scares me about the aftermath of November 3rd, or any other election for that matter. Hopefully, a super majority of us would not like this vision after all. Hopefully, most of us would prefer living in a democracy and a world akin to that of the Declaration of Independence. Hopefully, we believe that our differences might in fact develop something much better than any extreme position might offer, whether it be reactionary or radical. Think about it. It won’t hurt.
Religious convictions can become too complicated. I prefer simple ones. Try this one on. Every day of our lives, our Creator has established life such that we each have an unlovely person to love everyday of our lives. You have one. I have one. At least one. Creator wants us to love one unlovely every day. This loving can be from afar or up close and personal. Notice I say to love, not just to like or to tolerate. Who is your unlovely? Who are your unlovelies?
This religion may sound impossible, but it is at least simple to understand. Add to it a conviction that our Creator made this practice the only way to abundance, fulfillment and happiness now and in eternity. What if mean-spirited polarization is the opposite of what our Creator wants for us?
It’s time to vote. It’s also time to chill and, yes, love.