When we, as a country, voted Obama into his first term in office, a number of my conservative friends went through some negative emotions. One withdrew into silence while another expressed anger and frustration to me for days. With Trump going into office, my more liberal friends are running through those same emotions, but so much more so. While I can come up with a number of reasons for this, my mind wonders into another territory as I think through the issues of our time, rather than about the candidates themselves.
Within his first week in office, Trump made huge waves with a number of landmark decisions impacting immigrants, and support for international organization supporting women’s health (specifically, abortion). While I find my friends reaction interesting, I find their reaction to my reactions even more so. For example, I disagree with Trump’s desire to build a physical wall along the border. While I agree that we, as a country, must take steps to curtail illegal immigration, we simply cannot afford to build a massively huge wall to address the concern. Other options, such as stricter enforcement of proper higher processes may help (higher wages attracts those from other countries).
When I bring this up, however, I find myself attacked from those who do not support Trump. Why? Because without hesitation, they label me a ‘conservative’ or ‘religious nut.’ Therefore, I have nothing intelligent to contribute to the conversation. Ironically, I have found myself on the receiving end of conservatives accusing me of liberalism. I have found, even within my own family, that once people have slapped a placed me in such a box, it can be extremely difficult to get them to listen…even if I agree with them on a particular issue.
And, I believe that this happens because people, themselves, fall into these two boxes, and do not think outside of them very often. More importantly, they do not think through each issue that faces us today. Perhaps they do so because they have limited time to think on such matters. Or, for some, they may struggle with the complexity of some of the issues. After all, throwing your hat into the ring with a group proves easier than thinking through a myriad of challenges.
That’s a shame, really. Liberals often presume that, as a religious conservative, I go to (or went to) a church where I simply accepted everything taught… walking out a brain washed, conservative nut. Ironically, I find that many non-church going people, both liberal and conservative, have basically handed over their free will and critical thinking skills to the media. I cannot tell you how many times I have challenged my friends and peers on subjects to find that they have not given serious, personal thought to the matters. They know what they believe, but they do not know WHY they really believe it…outside of an emotional reaction. They have put very little serious contemplation into the matters.
And, that should really give us cause for concern. Because, when we vote for our public officials, we speak to the issues of our day. And many of them impact lives directly, such as the topic of abortion. Our forefathers worked hard….some even giving up their lives, so we could have the right to free speech and vote. Perhaps we should honor their sacrifice and get our head in the game.