Citizen Shade

Sometimes the solution is not what we want or expect. That’s life. Sometimes we need our enemies as allies to win the war.

I have been called a lot of things in my life, from crazy to weird to asshole.  When I was younger, it bothered me more.  As I got older, I came to realize that we all do this. Label the outlier or unknown. It’s a survival technique from way back when.  Is that thing a predator, food, an ally or something else?  When we are identified as something else, things can get muddy.

At the beginning of this election cycle, I am one of many Americans who had part of my head in the sand.  For that, I apologize.  But now my head is clearly out and doing what it does when it latches on to a problem, identifying and trying to implement solutions.

One of the first concerns I identified a while back, and have shared and written about, is that American politicians don’t refer to people as citizens.  We are grouped as either left, right, conservative, progressive, liberal and more.  But we are never grouped together and this, I believe, is by design.

No one likes to be called names, especially when they don’t identify with the label.  Call me balding, all I can do agree. I am. Call me an asshole and you cast a shadow on yourself. I don’t believe myself to be an asshole most of the time.

So here is the problem and there seems to be a lot of people trying to keep the spotlight on the problem.  Yes, there are hate filled Nazis and KKK members in America who want to do nothing more than kill anyone who is not like them.  I am not blind nor dumb nor unaware.  They are both terrorist organizations.

However, and therein lies the rub, many people who stand by their side are not KKK or Nazis.  They are simply Republican conservatives and every time we label them as racist; we are doing more harm than good to our future and our mission.  They may in fact exhibit racist behavior, but are unaware.  

Simply, if a conservative does not self identify as a racist, then calling them one makes us look like the bad guy or bully.  Call them conservatives or rigid thinkers or whatever, but in the end they are fellow Americans who have just as much say as we do. 

It would be much easier if we all started to view each other in the same light, despite our differences.  We need to remember that at the end of the day we are citizens of the same nation, and those who do harm to others are terrorists and criminals who need to be removed from society. 

I always ask the question, who benefits with certain narratives?  This one is clear.  If bipartisan politics ends, there will be hell to pay at a high level.  Our leaders have robbed the henhouse by keeping all the hens separate.   If we can shine a light on that, we win and they fall.

If not, our infighting and bickering will continue and the racist narrative will be pushed to keep us further separate, so that change does not occur.  And there are some among us whose livelihood is to present and promote that narrative just like an athlete promotes a brand.

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