Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Stop Divisiveness

I usually avoid political posts to my blog. 
First, they tend to alienate half of my potential readers.   Second, I’m not smart enough to make position-altering observations or to suggest solutions that haven’t already been considered.   That said (and I hate it when people say “that said”), I can’t help expressing my current concerns about what’s happening in the world.
It appears the world is becoming more and more divisive, and not just in the U.S.   Look at what recently happened in the U.K.   I’m not sure if Brexit was a good or bad idea, but I am sure the “leave” supporters represent slightly more than half of the voters, meaning slightly less than half of the voters are upset with the outcome—a clear division.   Worse yet, Brexit will take years to sort out, politically and economically.  So, be prepared to see more about Article 50, E.U. negotiations, and other countries arguing for/against leaving the E.U.—all likely to be divisive discussions.
We have our own problems here in the U.S.   At the top of the divisiveness queue are our candidates for president.  How in the world did we end up with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as our two choices?   I wouldn’t want either to coach my grandson’s baseball team, let alone lead the free world.   Why do we need to have candidates who are so flawed and pull so strongly to the right or left?  Are moderation and centricity no longer viable political positions?
Who represents someone like me?  I tend to be moderate or conservative in most of my beliefs, but not to the point that I’m not open-minded.  I take positions on specific issues that some would consider progressive, or even liberal.   Take gun control.   While I believe the Second Amendment should never be in question, I don’t believe our forefathers intended that everyone should have access to 100-round magazine clips and assault rifles.  A 12-gauge shotgun is just fine for hunting, and a 9mm handgun is ample for protecting me from anyone who might think my home is an easy target.  However, just taking the above position would disqualify me from ever becoming a Republican candidate for any political position—BTW, running for political office is something I would never consider.
Finally, why is terrorism a politically divisive issue?  Can’t we all agree that regardless of its source, it must be stopped?  Terrorist acts are on the rise worldwide.  Mass shootings, bombings, and planes falling from the sky are in the news at an increasing rate.  You would think there would be a unified focus on eliminating those responsible and all potential sources.  Yet, in the U.S., it’s predicable following each horrific attack, one side will claim access to guns is the problem, while others will claim radical Islamic terrorism is to blame.  Please, can’t we work together to eliminate these appalling acts of violence?   At a minimum, quit using them as political fund-raising events!
All this divisiveness makes me want to spend my remaining days in an obscure, low-populated location, enjoying nature and focusing on a quiet, secure life with friends and family.   In effect, that is what I’m doing.  I’ve lost my desire for worldwide travel, spending time in international airports, or even attending crowded venues.  I know this isn’t the answer for everyone, and that taking this position is surrendering to fear and to the problems facing the world.  But given my age, my financial position, and my needs, it’s a viable option for me and a growing number like me.
From my remote corner of earth, I will continue to listen and learn and pray that our leaders will work together to find real solutions to the world’s problems, and I will still feel free to express my opinions and vote.
Now all I need is a candidate worth voting for.