Allow me to elaborate. We have always had conflict between ourselves and others when it comes to sports and the teams we root for or against. I have "my" teams that I follow. They are tied to my life based upon where I went to college and the area that I grew up. I can frankly say that whenever I see a car with a bumper sticker featuring a rival sports club logo, I really don't pay much mind to it. But when I see a political related bumper sticker, that seems to be another story all together. When I see "Lock Her Up" stickers, or one with the NFL logo crossed out with "I stand for the pledge", I admit I do cringe a little. Why is it so damn important to openly display a political "bent" on a vehicle? Does it score points ("winning!") for the driver if they know they are passing along political views in a way that forces other drivers to know it? And if you disagree with the statement on the sticker? I simply shake my head and wonder if those displaying the sticker truly believe its message or whether they find it necessary to put it on their vehicle because they are seeking like minded drivers in an effort to reinforce their beliefs? I really don't know the answer. But I do admit, I physically cringe when I see these public displays on vehicles (side note - I have NO stickers on my car and my wife's car only has an IU sticker on it). So what gives? I know it's freedom of speech, but for what purpose?
Which gets me to my last point. We know there is a concerted effort by the media and political parties to separate us into "tribes" wherein we give absolute loyalty to the "cause of the tribe" without thinking for ourselves. Instead of thinking we are all in this together, we are seeing more and more divisive rhetoric designed to corrode our sense of community unity and spirit. By posting my blogs about "Trumplings", have I too fallen into this rabbit hole of divisiveness? Perhaps to some I have, but I find my efforts to bring some back to their senses is worth the risk of alienating others that simply cannot be reached anymore when it comes to accepting the lies and hypocrisy flowing from the Trump Administration and the current GOP.
For example. Our local newspaper reported that Cory Lewendowski, former Trump campaign advisor was in Sarasota to gin up support for a candidate for a State Representative seat. I'm okay with whomever he wants to campaign for, but when their basis for supporting the candidate is based upon open lies, then I take exception. With Lewendowski, the paper reported "There were Make America Great Again hats sprinkled throughout the crowd, people sported Trump stickers and a chant of 'lock her up" even broke out..." Since when does stirring a crowd to cheer on an effort to imprison a "former" political opponent an example of American values? Last I checked, Clinton lost her election bid for the presidency, yet Trumplings can't seem to process that our country has a president, and he's been in that position now for over a year. More importantly, what in the hell does a candidate running for a Statehouse seat have anything to do with Hillary Clinton? Could it be that there are no actual issues in play so they need to resort to this level of rhetoric?
Obviously, if there is no "substance" to the candidate, fire up the crowd by chanting tribal themes, sit back and watch its members break out in pre-programmed affirming responses. Wouldn't it be nice if a political candidate actually campaigned on real platforms to pursue if elected? But the appeal to turn the tribal switch on (and the independent brain off) seems to be too appealing. And this is the real problem we face in America. So many refuse to apply logic and actual facts to anything that may upset their "tribal view". As an American, I find this very disconcerting - especially when some GOP leaders push a narrative that is not only factually incorrect, but lacks any reasonable attachment to American values ("Lock her up" chants are dangerous and are not virtuous). What does it say when elected officials have so little knowledge of American history and are so willing to manipulate it to further their political rhetoric? (See: lawandcrime.com/politics/rep-scalise-says-thomas-jefferson-wrote-the-constitution-he-didnt/). I'm pretty sure Lincoln (happy birthday Abe) would agree with me on this point.
As President Lincoln once wrote; "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts." We are in this together whether some like it or not. Truth and honesty is needed back into our political conversation. It's past time we demand our media and elected officials get back to that notion! Have a great week!