The path toward civil war


Photo courtesy of: Hungryogrephotos

Following the murder of George Floyd, rioters start a fire outside of the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct. This precinct was the one where Derek Chauvin, the man who killed Floyd, worked.

Within recent decades there has been an increase in the major political parties’ inability to work together to solve a common issue. This inability to work together and have a conversation about genuine issues has driven a wedge between the two fronts of the American political landscape.

This wedge means that one can no longer voice their opinion and have a civil debate on the merits of either’s viewpoint. When one’s opinion is voiced those who disagree tend to shut down, and choose blissful ignorance or blind rage over civil debate.

The first presidential debate of 2020 on Sept. 29 has shown this in full effect, as Donald Trump called out Joe Biden for not condemning Antifa’s violent protests. Yet, when asked to condemn right wing militias and white supremacists, Trump refused to directly call them out.

“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump said in the debate. Our leaders are proudly displaying their inability to look at their own viewpoint critically, and most people completely ignore it.

Starting in the 1980’s, the parties have used government shutdowns to pressure the other side to agree to other bills or policies. Instead of cooperating, the parties have continued to put thousands of government workers in jeopardy by refusing to work together to agree on a budget that works for both sides.

A man stands on a burned out car as fires burn behind him in the Lake St area of Minneapolis. These riots followed the wake of George Floyd, who was killed by the police in May of 2020.
(Photo courtesy of: Hungreogrephotos)

The borderline mob mentality that many hold for their viewpoint has driven them into violence. We’ve been shown that all it takes is one event to spark this violence countless times now, whether in Minneapolis or in Portland, we are inches away from civil unrest.

We as a country need to put aside our political differences and work towards finding that common ground that our ancestors built this country upon. Without that, our union is doomed to crumble.

When someone with a different viewpoint approaches you, don’t shut down. Be open to new ideas, and have a discussion about the merits of each side. Be critical of your own side, and don’t ignore the shortcomings of any political candidate. If you go to a protest, keep it peaceful.

The more violently you act, the more likely it is for those who disagree with you to write you off as a raving lunatic. So keep it civil, and work together to solve our country’s issues.

We need to break this cycle of unity in crisis and violent disagreement in times of peace. When there is nobody for us to rally against, we rally against ourselves. This isn’t the first time that there has been a wedge driven straight into the heart of our union, and if we continue on this path, it will not be the last.


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