During the past election cycle a nasty evil burst out of the American public, the likes of which had not been seen in a very long time. The incredible polarization of both potential candidates fostered an extreme hate in their supporters for anyone opposing who they favored. Democrat or republican, liberal or conservative, it did not matter. Both sides of the already flawed party system had such a fiery distaste for the other, and it got worse as the political war waged on. Regardless if it was because of Trump’s ill-tempered and politically incorrect speech or Clinton’s unequivocally dry and general un- relatable-ness, the way we have treated those with differing opinions is not something that the American public should be proud of, or tolerate.
Not surprisingly, the two parties that dominate our country have never been entirely civil with each other. They have disagreed on a multitude of issues since the days before their current party names existed. But as time has gone on, a certain degree of professionalism has come with it. Duels no longer are requested to settle disagreements, and men of great importance are no longer killed during them (cough, cough Alexander Hamilton). The extreme hate once ever present in politics, going as far as trying to kill each other, has disappeared. So why has it suddenly made a resurgence? And why is it so strong in the American public?
Although disliked by their opponents, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton acquired a following that verged on fanatical during their campaigns. This poisonous attitude quickly spread throughout the ranks of their supporters, who then went on to continue spewing the hate on both social media and in person. Rallies for both sides devolved into violent filled bouts of anger directed toward the opposing side, often resulting in hospital visits for several individuals. The victims of this violence are not always supporters of one side or the other. The Slate.com (slate.com) reports on an incident at a Trump rally where a photographer had stones flung towards his head, and was left bloody because of them. This man was simply documenting the event, not supporting it. But the hate that now commands the political arena did not care and his mere presence warranted the violence in the eyes of whoever attacked him.
This inability to sympathize with others due to political differences is now haunting America. Even after the election, a strong hate continues to stir in the minds of so many individuals. Regardless if they support Trump, or Clinton, “the enemy” is still attacking in their mind, and that “enemy” is to blame for every issue present in the United States. This often leads to completely ignoring any problems that their own party is responsible for.
The blind allegiance and astounding hatred must come to an end if we are to progress as a country. Geoff Colvin, senior editor at Fortune.com, sums up our current situation wonderfully: ”Common ground has virtually disappeared.” (Fortune.com) This common ground is what has united us since America’s conception. The knowledge that we have to work together to be fruitful has apparently been forgotten. We as a people must remember that we are more than Republican, or Democrat, we are American’s. And as American’s we can only stand if we do so together, for if we are divided we will surely fall.