Throughout the past year, I’ve endeavored to embrace the differences of opinion I see on the news, on my social media feed, in culture. I rebut the echo chamber of my own ideas that so many seem to insist upon when they chide, “If you believe x, unfriend me now.”
But just once it would be nice to read a viewpoint from an intelligent, well-balanced person who sees the world similarly to how I do—not in black and white but in a very complicated spectrum of grayscale.
Somewhere along the way, we all fell into the same trap as our former president: believing that the loudest voice in the room wins, rather than the most sensible, or better yet, that there need not be a winner or a loser in every conversation at all.
As a moderate conservative, it’s incredibly frustrating that liberal voices seem to believe they have a monopoly on intelligent thought, and even more frustrating that conservatives seem to be proving them right. But perhaps what’s most frustrating of all is to know that in saying so, I will undoubtedly draw the ire of both.
Perhaps this is the central problem. When to express an idea that doesn’t align with one of two extreme perspectives is to be met with vitriolic opposition from both, perhaps the smartest people just keep their mouths shut. I don’t blame them, but I do fear that their self-preservation is to the detriment of us all.
I had hoped that our 46th president might mollify some of the overly charged rhetoric of the past four years, but despite what I think are earnestly his best efforts, the rhetoric surrounding him in the days leading up to and following January 20th’s changing of the guard—the concurrent and alternating rhetoric of damnation of one group and obsequity toward another—has not been promising.
So I cling to hope even as decency seems further and further out of our grasp, and in the meantime, will continue looking for my people. If you’ve seen them, can you please tell them, “We’re lost, send help.”