The Dehumanization of The Opposition

The intense partisan divide in this country along political lines is frequently discussed, and attributed to various different causes. Especially in the case of the recent El Paso shooting, the cause is often stated to be The President, the NRA, any number of different groups or individuals and can change depending on the issue at hand. While many people were thrust into thoughts of legislation and reform after the El Paso shooting, I was lost in thoughts of division and how exactly we got here.
I’ll just be honest right now, the president didn’t cause the El Paso shooting. No one but the shooter was at the cause of that. But it’s the shifting of narratives and overly bold language that so greatly muddies the waters of truth and allows people to so easily feel secure in their arguments. That security is further solidified by the instant dismissal of other views and opinions through use of over simplification and claims that the other side is essentially shilling for their cause.
It’s this insane rhetoric, I believe, that has gotten us to this place of such drastic division. Some common examples that are shared are that pro-lifers want to take away women’s right to choose and that pro-choicers are baby killers; or that 2nd amendment advocates are just worried about their guns and not the safety of others and that gun control advocates just want to take everyone’s guns away. None of these things are completely true and the longer we block ourselves from even considering that there is a real person with real opinions on the other end of that argument, we are doomed to this culture of division and dismissal and will be lost in a world of vetos and filibusters.
In reality, those that are pro-life, generally consider abortion to be murder. Regardless of the legitimacy anyone feels in that argument, for many it is a manner of morals and for some a moral cornerstone that abortion is wrong because it is murder. Those that are pro-choice genuinely feel that it is a woman’s right to make whatever decision they want with their body and it should be fettered by no one, especially a man. Do you really think either of those groups of people are going to easily change their mind? The answer is no.
In reality, 2nd amendment advocates have a plethora of reasons that gun ownership is vital to a well functioning society and that any infringement would be detrimental to the ability of the public to keep their government in check, as is their constitutional duty. Those that are gun control advocates (however educated or uneducated on guns) are scared. They are scared for their lives and the lives of their children and for whatever reason, however they arrived at this conclusion, believe that moderation of access to firearms will solve that problem. It is unreasonable to believe that either of these groups would change their minds easily.
Until we as a society and as a country are able to take a step back and recognize and respect that the person we are arguing with, be it on the internet or in real life, is an actual person, not just a walking talk point to make you upset. The same way you don’t want to be forced into anything, those that don’t agree with you don’t want to be forced either. With the way our media and social media is running, we are teaching our youth to hold extreme ideological positions with little to no evidence and no desire to receive any, because all that matters is owning the libs or punching nazis.
Well what you think are liberals are actually progressives, a small faction of a once great Democratic Party that, in my opinion, will lead to the destruction of the party if left unchecked. And what you are calling nazis are actually far right idiots and white supremecists, an equally small faction amongst a once great Republican Party that, in my opinion, left unchecked by leadership and executive will ruin the fragile image the party has with the next generation.
If we cannot even care to understand the differences that separate us into those worth listening to and those who should be ignored, then we stand no chance of identifying that which draws us together and provides us the hope to compromise for the good of this great country. Far left Marxist ideals and Far Right nationalism have nothing legitimate to offer this country and should be ignored. Those who lie between have at least some semblance of hope or new ideas that stand to possibly benefit the world and country we live in, and they should be understood for their value before simply being dismissed on the count of opposition to your own ideals.
It is this intensely partisan outlook that places people like Joe Rogan, Jordan Peterson and Dave Rubin in the real of the far right in the opinion of modern media. And the hatred for their perceived views, not even their actual views, are enough to deter most people from even googling their name to hear the words out of the persons own mouth. We have discussed time and time again the vital lessons that people like Dr. Peterson stand to teach us. Lessons that, if ignored, doom us to make the same mistakes of other countries in the past in the form of Marxism or Fascism. It is the ignorance of these lessons that place us in danger of repeating history, for we have chosen not to learn from it.

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