War of words can soothe political conflict


Photo by Camryn DeVore

Cam Fuller

As 2017 comes to an end and President Donald Trump rounds out his first year in office, our country looks onto the new year more politically divided than ever before in my lifetime. In many ways, the current political landscape mirrors the aftermath of a war, as the victors begin to lay down new laws  while the resistance prepares for battle in an all-out fight for the fate of humanity.
This is at least what the two parties and the media would like you to think.
Times like these are incredible for politics and the media, as the public pays more attention to their government than ever before. This is somewhat in an attempt to be informed, but in most cases, it’s in fear of what’s to come. Fear is money for the media, and no one has taken more advantage of this than Tomi Lahren and Alex Jones.
These incredibly popular speakers have taken conservative popularity online to new heights by releasing over-the-top rants about everything from snowflakes to interdimensional aliens taking over our government. Through social media, they are able to reach massive audiences with editorialized speeches that mainly cater only to their own party. The one constant in almost all of their videos is the claim that the left is hurt by everything the Right does and, as a result, has ruined itself by overusing labels.
Of course, using terms such as ‘crybaby’ and ‘libtard’ are completely different, right? I mean, angry 4Chan and Reddit users couldn’t be more different than Twitter leftists. Each has a completely original set of terms used to show rage, yet the name-calling never really prove a specific point. Each side has its own strict rules about what can’t be considered fodder for a joke, like the American flag or feminism. For a conservative, to compare the two groups would be completely ludicrous, right?
Comparison, however, may be exactly what the far right needs if it wants to survive.
For too long, these conservative media members have lost sight of what they say their goals are. They call for people to stop calling them ‘Nazi’ because they’re not historically accurate but seconds later claim that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are “Communist blowhards.” This isn’t just something that takes place on your grandfather’s Facebook page, though. It has now become a constant in the lives of a politically divided town like Columbia. I pride myself on having family members on all sides of the political spectrum, but, for me, it is now more clear than ever that conservatives have turned into exactly what they claim to hate.
At Thanksgiving, I wanted nothing more than to sit and eat pumpkin pie in peace. My conservative family members, however, made it clear that the purpose of our meal was instead to talk about how Missouri liberals like Claire McCaskill get angry too easily. I wanted nothing more than to argue and ruin our wonderful meal, but the pressure of numbers and turkey got to me.
I should have told them was that their entire argument was totally ironic, and also proved to me that conservatives are fighting themselves. One can’t claim to hate liberals for making a big scene over tax reform but then use every opportunity you have to make a scene attacking them. It undermines the very nature of your thought process while simultaneously showing your true agenda of fear-mongering.
To say this problem is just a conservative issue would be shortsighted, however. The prevalence of dissimulation in both parties is evident through the Left’s protection of Al Franken. Many of my cousins on the liberal side of the family were quick to call out the despicable actions of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, which I couldn’t agree with more, but to act as though the actions of Senator Al Franken are excusable because he is a Democrat shows just how absorbed our country is in it’s own hypocrisy.
In today’s political climate, both sides do little more than obstruct, distract and indulge their basic impulses, which is why our politics and our rhetoric must be all or nothing. Either both parties can go into a rage because of the other, or neither can. It’s time every division of the political spectrum comes to terms with its need for anger before the United States rushes headlong into a war of stupidity we cannot come back from. To fix this we need to be willing to have awkward conversations and intense arguments if we’re ever going to be able to lessen the divide. I know now that no amount of food or family members should stop me from standing up to this problem, and next time I’m faced with an angry family member, I plan to face hypocrisy head on.