We're in trouble my friends -- and that starts with "T" -- and that rhymes with "P" -- and that stands for politics. Watch a few nights of the daily news or one night of either party's national political convention and you will see that we are brimming with hatred all across the country. Whether it is Black Lives Matter vs. Blue Lives Matter; Straight Conservative Religious Right vs. the LGBT Community; or Democrat vs. Republican -- we are having fights, violent arguments, and brawls in many communities all across the land.
It seems that we have more than a few -- well, let's call them leaders -- who are fanning the fires of hatred for one cause or another. Using tactics like yelling your message loudly -- because if you're loud, you must be right or pointing a finger at a group of people and telling us (loudly) that they are the cause of trouble and we should put them in their place. Encouraging violence among crowds to settle disputes or to make a point is becoming the norm in our country.
What is clear is that there is a large, mostly uneducated, part of our population that is responding to these tactics. They are mad. They are mad at the government. They are mad at the police. They are mad at the wealthy. They are mad at each other. They are just plain mad. It is easy to whip mad folks into a tither with the tactics discussed earlier. Hate and anger are strong emotions. They are forceful motivators. And, for many, whether they are right is of little consequence.
We must stop this direction. History has proven time and time again that it leads us to a very dark place. Societies eventually crumble when they take this path. War breaks out; world wars have emerged when countries have taken this path. Innocent people are killed in large numbers when we take this path. We must get off of this path, but how?
In the short-term, our leaders must no longer stick to the party line just to gain an elected office. They must speak out against what is happening. They must stand on their principles and not sell out. If you stated time and time again, from one state to the next, that someone "is unfit for office," you cannot endorse that candidate now for the sake of winning an office or gaining a high-ranking political appointment.
In the long-term, we, as a country, must educate our population. We cannot afford to have a population that is so easily led by bullies and egomaniacs that are able to get their hands on a microphone. Only through education, mostly higher education like that at Fulton-Montgomery Community College, can we hope to avoid such a direction in the future. We cannot be in this place in our country again.
Some will read this and call me elitist. Some will say that I am speaking poorly about the American people. I am not. Most Americans are good. However, in a country as wealthy as the United States to leave so many of our people uneducated, and so easily led down a path of violence, is not worthy of our history, of our founding fathers and of our people.