The one silver-lining I saw with the election of Donald Trump was that it would cause both Republicans and Democrats to trust government less. This was my hope. It was something I assumed would happen organically out of disillusionment, and as individuals realized that the issues were not Donald Trump. The issues were that our democratic mechanisms allow the Donald Trumps to happen. These mechanisms allow the nefarious desires of powerful men and women to dictate to us the best way to serve them, as opposed to them serving us.
When Trump was elected my hope was that people would realize that we need less government in order to correct the problems that have grown out of our ever-expanding government. My hope has proven to be completely misguided folly.
Since Donald Trump’s election Republicans have become just as irresponsible as Democrats (and vice versa). The response to his election has been to drive partisans further into the arms of their preferred lesser-of-two-evils. The hatred the other holds towards their perceived opposite has become part of their collective identities.
Hatred has become an identifiable characteristic of modern American politics. Governing, voting, the issues, have become about who it is you hate.
If you were a Republican before Donald Trump, you’re even more of a Republican now. If you voted for Donald Trump, you probably support him even more strongly today. You also are under the impression that Republicans need even more power in order to prevent Democrats usurping Trump’s political capital. You freely ignore the most obvious and egregious signs illustrating in clear and concise terms that Republicanism eerily mirrors the machinations of progressivism (particularly when it comes to how collectives are formed and maintained).
If you were a Democrat before Donald Trump, you’re even more of a Democrat now. If you voted for Hillary Clinton, you believe that the only way to defeat Donald Trump is to ensure that Democrats have the sufficient power to obstruct his political priorities. Which is to obstruct the political priorities of Republicanism. You blatantly ignore the nuance of how/why people turned to Donald Trump. You believe that racism/sexism/homophobia and various other “isms” is sufficient in explaining his victory. And you believe that it is not only morally superior to vote blue, but morally required.
I say to the two sides of this same coin: I have had enough. The Republicans and the Democrats have become raving lunatics. And many (not all) of their constituents have become as maniacal and jaded and partisan as the politicians themselves. Both sides are destroying America. Their constant feeding into never-ending political turmoil is exhausting. It is unhealthy. It attempts to force me into choosing a side. I refuse the choice. Both sides have caused this problem.
I am not innocent, I have participated in this idiocy. But after watching this circus unfold the last two years (and especially the Kavanaugh situation over the last two weeks), I am convinced that there is little if any good that can come out of my continued participation. The partisan divide is so great that it is beyond reconciliation. The two sides despise each other so much that they would rather continue down their failed paths than find the road to reconciliation and civility. No matter how centrist the views, no matter how even keeled or moderately toned the dialogue is, the outcomes remain the same. Pure and unadulterated partisanship.
Over the last two years I haven’t seen my MAGA friends honestly critique Donald Trump the politician.
Over the last two years I haven’t seen my #IMwithHER friends honestly critique Hillary Clinton the politician.
Over the last two years I haven’t seen an honest attempt from either side at bi-partisan harmony.
Shame on you.
Every debate has become life or death. Every policy has become a threat to democracy. Everything that either side has or will do has become the linchpin on which the resistance/collective stakes their outrage.
Frankly – both sides have become addicts. Addicts of outrage and hatred.
For me, however, that ends. My shift away from this toxic culture begins today. You will be able to find spicy memes on my Facebook page. You will be able to find some tweets about writing on my Twitter. And on this website you’ll find my essays, my reviews, my stories, my musings, my philosophy, and various other interests. I am done engaging in outrage and hatred. I have had more than my fill. There is no more room in my narrative for the continued wasted energy that American political culture demands of me.