The other night as the world turned in on itself, I’m not ashamed to tell you that I was deeply affected by all that I heard. Listening to grown men stumble verbally and search for words to express what they were feeling when it’s their job to be eloquent signified the depth of what they, as well as any rational American, was experiencing at that moment.
But no words moved me more than those of President Obama. Watching this fluently, articulate man fumble for an expression, with long pauses between his speech, told me that try as anyone might, there are very few polite words in any language to characterize the profundity of everything that’s happening in America right now. In addition, he had to air the country’s dirty laundry on foreign soil. And he had to do so not once, but twice in the span of not 24 hours.
Obama spoke about contradictions. Here’s the bit I’m referring to:
There is no contradiction between us supporting law enforcement, making sure they have the equipment they need, making sure they’re collective bargaining rights are recognized, making sure they’re adequately staffed, making sure that they are respected, making sure that their families are supported. And also saying that there are problems across our criminal justice system. There are biases, some conscious and unconscious that have to be rooted out. That’s not an attack on law enforcement. That is reflective of the values that the vast majority of law enforcement bring to the job.
Contradictions, conflict; it occurred to me then that it’s not political correctness that’s the problem, it’s political contradictions.
Everywhere you look, there’re contradictions being sold us that pit us, one man against the other. Black Lives Matter contradicts or cancels out, the fact that Blue Lives, all lives Matter also. It shouldn’t; the two are conjoined. When one camp is healthy, prosperous and safe, the other camp’s job is a lot easier. Each is dependent on the other in a queer form of urban symbiosis.
Likewise, pro-gun control contradicts or cancels out supporters of the 2nd Amendment. Instead of bridging a gap, finding a compromise or simply improving current regulations for the greater good, there are only two, opposing camps at each other’s throats while those bent on killing slide into a gun shop as they please.
We’re sold that to be pro-choice means that you’re by design, anti-life. There’s never the consideration offered or thought of that you can be both; a reflection I think that’s shared by more in the country than you’d expect. Sensible-secular and religious-Americans recognize that in today’s world of drastic health concerns and everyday unpredictability, women need viable and safe options available to them; options sans the baggage of this spiritual consideration or that one.
Across the pond, to be pro-Israel in today’s political climate is to be automatically anti-Palestinian instead of appreciating the history that both sides share as well as the dependence that each has on the other. Two of the oldest people on the face of the earth, you would think that there would be a peaceful resolution by now, despite all the provocation thrown one against the other by either side. Yet, all we’re left with is the continued, escalating conflict formed out of the contradiction.
Back home, to be anti-illegal immigration is to immediately be considered racially biased and anti-Latino. And the political gain for Republicans and Democrats squeezed out of the sentiment coming from either camp virtually ensures that not only will the two sides never see eye-to-eye but also that Americans don’t know who to trust. Everybody’s selling us something for gain. Conflict.
I’m of the mind that ever since we first pulled our early, amoebic forms out of that primordial ooze that would eventually become a lake, we’ve been in competition with each other. It is, after all, referred to as the “human race”. Hence the ease with which such clashes can be sold to us; because in truth, what I’ve just alluded to is trivial by all means. We’re rational beings; it should be overcome, if not easily then through vigorous, continued trial and error.
But right now, we’re not trying nor are we erring. All we’re doing is bickering and fighting. And if we don’t stop it, we’re going to kill each other. Now we’re seeing what happens when men feel that those in blue are out to get them. The vice versa is horrifying to contemplate and even as many feel it’s already occurring, let’s keep in mind that extremism has only a human face.