THE POLITICS OF LIFE

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In recent weeks, we’ve seen a lot of bantering back and forth between the two main political parties. Trump has threatened to prosecute Hillary before he got elected, and Hillary accused him of being a womanizer, bully, and a racist. As all of us know, the Electoral College elected Donald Trump as our next president, and people say the election was rigged, as the other side says Hillary actually won the popular vote.

But the past is the past, and we all must move on. I voiced this same opinion in a writer’s support group on Facebook recently, saying people should get over it, and support our president regardless. I was attacked with great fury by Trump haters. They didn’t claim they were Hillary supporters, just Trump haters, which led me to believe they either didn’t vote, or they voted for a third party.

Today, however, I’m not going to say who I voted for or why, or even if I agree with either one of them. These aren’t the politics that concern me; I could care less who is president as long as they respect the people, honor the constitution, and protect our great country. I’m talking about the politics of life, how we treat each other as human beings on a day to day basis.

Trump haters attack his supporters, Hillary supporters  attack Trump supporters. Where does it end? Do we really need to divide the country over politics, religions, race, and genders? Until people can accept the fact that the person next to you is an individual with their own viewpoints, culture and beliefs, things will never change.

These acts of aggression over race, religion, or politics are nothing new, they’ve been around for thousands of years, beginning with the use of slaves by the Egyptians and other similar cultures. Religion, especially, is a sensitive issue to debate on, considering everyone has their own take on it. To exempt Muslims from coming into the country purely on their religion is ludicrous, and prejudiced, and has no place in our policy. That being said, we also cannot allow ISIS to infiltrate and terrorize America, and need a way to screen those coming in that’s fair and impartial as well.

Now some make think racial profiling is wrong and racist, but when a suspect’s description is Afro American, Middle Eastern, or Chinese, it is also ludicrous to chase after a white man to satisfy an arrest. The recent police incidents of the past year have caused tension between young Afro Americans and those who are supposed to protect and serve us. Tension usually leads to violence, which leads to the incident in Birmingham, as well as others.

It’s hard for me to relate to this situation because I’m a white, middle class raised male. My father worked hard for a living, sometimes working three jobs to feed his eight kids. We were neither rich nor poor, but there were times we had to give a little for something we wanted. When I was 12, my dad bought a paper franchise, and put me to work everyday at 3:30 AM, delivering papers until it was time to go to school.

I can’t say there wasn’t some racism in my blood. My grandfather was of German descent, and hated all black people, and even had pet names for them. This passed on to my mother, but not to the same degree as him. It took my father to make her see things a little differently, being a Protestant minister, and not so prejudice. He once helped out a young black family in Pultneyville, NY, and was almost thrown out of the church for it, prompting him to leave of his own free will anyway.

I’ve adapted most of his beliefs about race and religion. He still had a hard time wrapping around the choice of homosexuality and transgender people, but many of the men and women of the cloth do. I myself, have trouble with it, and don’t believe in it, but I’m totally okay with other people making that choice, if that’s what they wish. I have several Afro American friends, as well as homosexual friends, and they are all great people.

Which brings to my point. We all need to treat each other with the same respect we would expect to receive. If you preach hate, you will hate, and never progress as a human being. If you treat others with kindness, they will treat you the same. You don’t need a religious doctrine to tell you that, and certainly not the government. We all need to step back at this time of Thanksgiving and say to ourselves, what am I truly thankful for?

I know what I’m thankful for-family, a roof over my head, food to eat, and that the people around me love and respect each other enough to not hate those that are different from them. I’m thankful for a world where I can see the beauty of creation, whether it’s god, science, or something completely different. I’m also thankful that I can look at the person next to me and say, “He’s not so different than me after all.”

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