A Divided Nation
Americans are divided socially and ideologically - it even extends into families
January 15, 2018
The holiday season of peace has just ended. There were a number of expressions of dismay in mainstream and online social media sources of news of what, in an already complex and divided nation, could further complicate the state of disunity. It seems the family has become involved and is another factor in our uncompromising attitudes, and all at the mere mention of a particular person.
Yes, as sad and absurd as it may seem, the mere mention of the name Trump at a holiday gathering can ruin the festive mood and holiday spirit. Well, what can one expect? Political and ideological differences among people have existed time immemorial. There have always been disagreements of one sort or another, even among family and friends. However, since President Trump has assumed office things have escalated and dramatically changed in America.
There is now a segment of society that has become so irrational and filled with bitterness and anger that they are beyond civil discourse and rational thought. They have become abusive and totally distracted in their own self-inflicted world of hate and callous disregard for anyone, even family and friends. They have lost the concept of free speech rights and believe theirs is the only meaningful and undisputable truth. These are the Trump-haters composed mainly of Democrats, liberals, progressives, and misanthropes.
So enraged are these poor pitiful souls that any attempt to reason with them, and extend common courtesies and the hand of friendship, are dismissed even if it’s with a family member at a celebration. Yes, indeed the very mention of ‘his’ name sends them into fits of uncontrollable and hysterical blather, tinged with colorful language, but sometimes outbursts of vulgarity. They are filled with condemnation for the president and his deplorable supporters. Their insensitivity toward others and vituperative behavior can destroy the peace and solemnity of the season.
What are the sane and sensible among us to do? What attitude and frame of mind should you bring to the table if you’re planning a get-together with family and friends, some who might be of the anti-Trump persuasion, and celebrate the season of peace? I guess most would feel they should bone up on the facts, know what you’re talking about, especially when it involves politics, religion, and current events, which at one time were considered off limits. But be certain to maintain a sense of propriety and control; keep your wits and dignity about you, avoid getting into any shouting matches, as they can cause bad feelings and lost relationships.
So if you happen to be seated at a table with an anti-Trump malcontent and the conversation turns to politics, just listen attentively, smile, nod, and if necessary let them rattle on. If they say something you disagree with or take exception to, stay calm and reply with a mild-mannered· response, but also be careful and beware, and take note of the telltale signs of rage: eyes ablaze, nostrils flaring, clenched fists, and spittle at the corners of the mouth. And if you want to take a chance and have some fun, say ‘his’ name in an approving way, and then watch the fireworks, but just be sure whether it’s you or another host that dinner is served on plastic or paper plates, glasses, and cups, and yes don’t forget knives and forks, anything that can be used as a weapon - these people are dangerous.
In all seriousness, this is a sad commentary on America. She is still a great nation, but some of her people have become lost and have allowed their innermost demons and differences to overshadow reason and sanity, and disturb the sanctity of the home.
Visit Bob Pascarella's website at www.ShortStoriesInVerse.com