In our political culture, we have become so divided that we have forgotten that people who don’t believe the way we do are still people. Instead of having a friendly discussion or debate, I often see death threats or insults to people’s intelligence or character.
As I finished teaching Night this year, I was reminded again of a question that plagues me every year – How could the German people have gone along with the notion that the Jews and other persecuted people were less than human? How could they throw infants into flames and execute mass numbers of people? How could they watch as women and children were gassed to death? Then I get on Twitter and I fear for our own nation. During the elections last year, I was told multiple times either to kill myself or that people hoped I would die simply because I did not support Trump or Hillary. Now, I know these were just words but this is where it starts. If Trump today said Liberals should die, I have a sad feeling that many would follow and if Hillary had won and said the same thing about conservatives, I have a feeling there would be many on that side that would follow too.
When did we get to the point that we can’t disagree with each other without wanting the other person dead?
And now I am seeing this carry over into my professional life. I have a few parents who will contact me if they have a question or concern in class, but a growing number of parents, instead of talking to the teacher, take the concern straight to the principal or even higher. When did this become acceptable? Hasn’t the common courtesy been if you have an issue with someone you try to work it out with them first? After all teachers, like everyone else, are only human. We make mistakes. Occasionally, I hit the wrong button when I’m inputting grades. I don’t hear every word a kid says in my class, so if I don’t discipline them right away for a derogatory comment, it might be because I didn’t hear it, but I am responsive. I listen to concerns and try my best to right them. However, I am not psychic, and I don’t know to fix problems if I don’t know they exist. And I’m sure many of you feel the same way I do.
I know not everyone we meet in life will be responsive, but doesn’t everyone deserve the chance? Instead of always assuming that a person is deliberately trying to offend us, why don’t we try seeing it from their point of view? And why don’t we talk to the offender first instead of making a problem bigger than it has to be?
I haven’t written many political pieces lately and part of this is because I have been working on the release of my children’s series, but also because I was tired of being so negative. There is still a lot about Trump I don’t like but there has been some good:
The nomination of Gorsuch appears to be a solid pick. Pence paid respect to Holocaust survivors and visited Dachau concentration camp on his trip to Germany and was villified, but why? Melania recited The Lord’s Prayer and was attacked. Sure if she were more religious she might know it by heart, but maybe she was just nervous. She is not a public speaker, and even if she were and still needed to read it, we haven’t heard much prayer or mention of God in the last eight years, so this at least gives Christians hope. Trump de-funded international Planned Parenthood and the congress is working on de-funding it here and making sure our tax dollars never fund abortions. As a God-fearing Christian, there are a lot of things the administration is doing that appear to be good.
Maybe it’s just my optimism or maybe it’s because I’m facing a similar attack in my life, but I don’t know Trump personally. Maybe he is trying to do the best he can. He isn’t a politician, so he may make a lot of mistakes. Yes, the Presidency should not be on-the-job training, but as he won the election, maybe instead of always attacking, we can pray for wisdom, for him to be surrounded by wise people (he hasn’t always chosen the best), and we can celebrate the few small victories he has accomplished while keeping our eyes open for trickery and deceit.
Lorana Hoopes is a Christian author who focuses on children’s book and adult inspirational books with a touch of romance.Her books are available at Amazon.