Perhaps it’s just me, but it seems like I sure do encounter quite a bit of advice about how we as a country should not be so polarized, how we should be more tolerant, not so divisive, reach across the aisle, try to understand one another.
Also, sometimes I feel such a painful separation from people I care about, a disconnect from others, because I am forced to just walk on eggshells, to say nothing, to look away politely so as to avoid conflict, and to maintain what little contact I do have.
The separation however remains, even if no one speaks of it, and I am keenly aware that the only reason there is no conflict is because I have denied myself and gone silent. Is that really loving to do to someone, though? Doesn’t love hold you loosely in it’s hands? Is it not actually abusive to require someone to comply with your belief system or else you won’t love them anymore? It is, it is indeed! With holding affection is symptomatic of psychological abuse.
It seems to me as if I am now totally polarized and quite unapologetic about it. Every article I read, every blogger I encounter, every person lamenting the sad state of our divisive nation, makes absolutely no attempt to try to understand me.
Like, I could be a “wealthy, self serving, elitist” or an “ignorant rube from the heartland,” or there is a slight possibility those are projections, stereotypes, mediated reality having no basis in the truth, but you’ll never know because you never ask.
Also, who begins a reconciliation process, an end to “polarization,” by calling people names? Methinks I’m not the one responsible for all this alleged “polarization.”
I read an article so politically biased it was darkly comical, and I should have saved the link. I’m far too lazy to go find it now, but the heart of the argument was basically, this country is far too polarized so all you peeps that won’t fall into line with my dominant narrative are simply going to have to comply.
I mean, who could reject such a charming invitation, right? Tell you what, I’ll just surrender all my wisdom, reason, experiences, insights, lay down my polarization, and submit to your vastly superior mindset.
Or perhaps NOT.
It’s a wee bit amusing, I am perhaps one of the most likely to compromise. If I had a year book from high school, right under my picture it would probably say, “most likely to compromise.” I got an A+ in tolerance with extra credit, too. And yet for the first time in my life I am like, uhm, no. No, we will not be tolerating this. Nope, not that either. No, we will not be going along to get along. Again, that’s also a no. No. No. No.
There are just some things so cut and dry, so right and wrong, so black and white, they are not just a “no” but a, “oh, hell no.” That’s a funny thing coming from someone who is all about the ambiguity, the many shades of grey in our world. I love to hold a paradox in tension and just stand back and admire it. Just the same, I find myself quite polarized and completely unapologetic about it.
I’ve come to realize something about myself in this polarized state of mine, I am and always have been, far more of a populist, than an evangelical. The people are my people, far more than the tribe called “evangelicals” are my people. There’s a division there that I find interesting, a division that perhaps the church as a whole should take note of, because I am not alone, I am just one of many.
Anyway, I’m sure no one cares, but I for one am not lamenting the “complete collapse of our country,” nor am I “sad and filled with despair over the state of American politcs,” nor am I, “wholly disgusted with both sides.”
I am absolutely delighted to finally be heard, seen, and to have my concerns acknowledged and addressed by a President. So, I’m quite cheerful, quite optimistic, and quite willing to endure more of this.