What Will Be Left When The Dust Settles?




trump hillary hell

Let me start off by saying I don’t believe all the doom and gloom our precocious prognosticators have been predicting throughout the absurd length of this election cycle. I don’t think a President Trump or President Clinton will be the end of the country and/or bring about global war, economic ruin, the sale of the country to the Chinese/Russians, or anything like that. We are an extremely resilient country, and we will survive whichever of these two buffoons ends up winning the election.

With that said, there is one thing I do fear. With the tremendous hate both major party candidates have been receiving, both from the other side as well as their own, I fear that, once elected, neither one will make any meaningful inroads to try to heal the partisan divide that’s been plaguing this country for the last 20+ years. That doesn’t seem to be a plank on either party’s political platform.

I believe Hillary Clinton will likely win the presidency. I believe she will do so with a healthy margin over Donald Trump. I also believe that she and her team will take this as a mandate from the voting public for her policies and political beliefs. I believe the same would happen with a Trump presidency. I have no doubt that both potential presidents would likely ignore the other side, writing them off as rabble rousers and sore losers. They will employ their bully pulpit to demonize the other side, highlighting their obstructionism, and undermining all the opposition positions to the point of absurdity.

The take-away from this is that we can no longer, nor should we rely on our political leaders to help bridge this divide. Reaching across the aisle in American politics is only something that happens in theory, never in practice. We should not allow these elected simpletons to dictate how we treat each other. Political parties are ethereal. They do not exist as actual physical barriers that prohibit us from interacting with one another in a respectful and meaningful manner.

We need to take responsibility for what’s happened and what we have allowed to happen. We need to start reaching out to people with beliefs different from our own on a more regular basis, and we need to do it with open minds and open arms. You don’t have to agree with someone on every single political issue to get along with them. You don’t have to take every disagreement over a national or local issue as an insult to your intelligence or values.

Values change over time. That’s a fact of life. If you value all the same things in all the same ways at 50 that you valued at 20, I would question your thought processes. There’s nothing wrong with holding fast to certain core values. That’s what make us who we are. However, the way we think about these values evolves as we learn more information about various circumstances related to and arising from life.

We are a sum of our own experiences. At some point in our lives, we’ve inevitably thought about something differently than we do now. Why chastise and demonize someone for doing the same? If you value rational thought and the synthesis of ideas, you’ll make an effort to learn more about another person and their beliefs, values, and thought processes. If you’re a rabid partisan who only values the letter after a politician’s name, then do the entire country a favor and just fade away. Progress cannot be made while we concern ourselves with such trivial matters.

People matter. Politics doesn’t. Remember that.

About Sean Cocca

Born and raised in Orange County, Sean graduated from CSULB with a degree in Journalism -- something he has tried (and failed) to exorcise from his life. He resides in North OC. He's grown far more politically independent over the years and staunchly refuses to join a political party. Follow him on twitter @NPPinCA.