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Monday, November 19, 2018

Columns

After election, supporters of both parties miss big picture


Everyone is mad about something now that the presidential election has concluded.

In that anger, most of the U.S. population have managed to become more upset with those that they disagree with and have gradually become less civil toward them.

United to divide

Many Americans who hold Republican beliefs are upset because their Democratic counterparts are flooding the streets after Donald Trump won. Yet, there are videos showing Americans being disrespectful to their countrymen who are practicing their right to peacefully assemble.

That’s what kills me about so many conservative-leaning Americans: They establish a strict set of guidelines on protesting those they disagree with and then harass them as soon as people follow those rules.

Black Lives Matter was an “illegitimate” social movement to many conservatives and Republicans since marchers would constrict roads and cause general disorder. The main gist of conservatives’ comments was almost always along the lines of, “Going on the highway isn’t covered in the First Amendment.”

Too many people are willing to disavow a movement that they don’t agree with simply because a handful of people acted uncivilly, or otherwise stepped outside the aforementioned guidelines.

Yet, as soon as liberals hold (for the most part) peaceful protests throughout the country, they are shrugged off and seen as idiots for applying their First Amendment rights.

I don’t care what political party you are in. Being American is to realize that all rights extend to all U.S. citizens, especially to those that you disagree with.

Just because you disagree with what someone believes does not mean that you should try your hardest to shut them up or nullify their argument.

You should actually do the opposite: Do your best to engage in civil conversations about the differences.

Democrats are mad because Trump became president-elect based on the electoral vote and not the popular vote. In their rage, some have fermented the rhetoric that every person who voted for Trump is misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, fascist and hate-filled.

Members of the left managed to stereotype and label half of the U.S., and people wondered why the exit polls were so off. Something is wrong when people are afraid of social ostracization and accompanying consequences if they publicly support a presidential candidate.

Don’t say that it’s because of the other candidate.

Both camps need to grow up. Hillary Clinton lost. No amount of protesting will make the Electoral College pull the rug out from underneath Trump before he is inaugurated.

No civility, no prosperity

I respect the right that all Americans have to assemble and protest peacefully. But, my God, what a ridiculous and hypocritical thing to to take onto the streets.

Trump won. Clinton lost. Move on. No amount of anti-Trump chants will magically unmake him from being president-elect.

What’s even more upsetting about all the demonstrations is that they are exactly what the left crucified Trump and his supporters for: refusing to say whether he would accept the results of the election. Yet, liberals are in the streets and protesting the election results.

Also, so many liberals constantly talk about rights being violated, how they are a minority under attack and then suddenly, at an anti-Trump demonstration in Austin, a counter-protester gets his hat stolen from him and his sign torn to shreds.

Don’t be upset with the outcome when, compared to previous years, a sizable amount of Democratic voters didn’t show up at polling stations.

The country is coming apart at the seams. We are constantly at each other’s throats about ideas that no one is willing to change or compromise. I have no idea what the solution will be, but civility is a definite step toward that.

As Ethan Klein of the comedy YouTube channel h3h3Productions said, “Voting for Trump was like a brick through the window.” Protesting brings out people on both sides of the political spectrum who are deeply entrenched in their beliefs and refuse to exchange ideas.

We may not be able to see eye-to-eye, but the least we can do is talk to each other in level tones about our differences and how we can reconcile the things that we do not agree on.

Protests over one person won’t make something like that to happen. Neither is Facebook nor Twitter. Talk about it with your friends and hope that they do the same with theirs.

Assistant opinion editor Thom Dwyer is a broadcast journalism sophomore and can be reached at [email protected]

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