Blame It All On...

The thing that bothers me most about political rants on Facebook, political discussions/arguments at my neighborhood bar and political speeches by most politicians is that so many people think that their opinions and those of their political party are the only correct ones. My ultra right wing Republican friends say, in effect, that anything said by a Democrat is wrong. My ultra left wing Democrat friends say anything said by a Republican is automatically wrong.

I say both schools of thought are wrong.

There also seems to be an assumption that all Democrats believe in exactly the same thing and are all 'liberal' and all Republicans believe in exactly the same thing and are all 'conservative'.

Wrong again, in my opinion. And that is exactly the issue: these are all opinions. Not facts, just opinions. Our great country was founded on finding common ground among disparate beliefs.

If you assume that each party stands for only one thing and that the reputation or impression of a party or its members is static over time, here are examples from history that might surprise you.

Republicans seem to be war-mongers who are against anything related to protecting the environment. But Nixon, a Republican president, ended the Vietnam War and began the Environmental Protection Agency.

Democrats seem to be pacifists but Democratic President Lyndon Johnson got us deeper into the Vietnam War.

Republicans who worship President Reagan, the man who often pointed out that big government was the problem, forget that the government grew more during his eight years than during any prior administration except FDR's.

I'm tired of hearing that everything is Obama's fault. My coffee wasn't hot this morning; Obama's fault. That's crazy. Even though I'd like to think everything that went wrong between 2001 and 2009 was Bush's fault, it wasn't. Trump says the terrorist attacks on 9/11 were Bush's fault. Are you effing kidding me!

I think Trump is an evil, racist, sociopathic, bully con artist who would be the most dangerous president in our history and I have many facts and observations to back that up. But that assertion is my opinion. Nothing more, nothing less.

I think Hillary Clinton is annoying and untrustworthy. But I also think she would not get us into another war and she does understand how American democracy works. Trump doesn't understand any of this.  Clinton would be ineffective as president but not dangerous. Trump would be dangerous.  My opinion. Facts back it up but it's still just an opinion.

Facebook ranters who think they have all the answers are delusional. In my opinion.

People want to blame 'others' for all this discord and there are some easy targets. Maybe it's time for each of us to look inward and consider the possibility we've done this to ourselves.

My wish through all of this is that we would all shut the fuck up and just vote for the candidates in each race who we truly believe can make a difference.