As our politics continue to get more and more divisive our rhetoric towards each other continues to escalate. It has reached the point where much of the language used to describe opposing viewpoints is violent. This has no place in civil discourse for many reasons, the biggest of which is that it will only lead to further division and less open dialogue.
The state of Maine budget negotiations have failed. Our government has officially shut down as of July 1st, 2017 due to a lack of compromise. The reasons for this are quite complicated and nuanced, but the end result is that dozens of Republicans voted No to the budget (14 voted Yes) along with a unanimous yes from the Democrats. This moment is incredibly frustrating and depressing since tens of thousands of Mainer’s lives will be impacted. Predictably, a bit of the language I’ve seen my my own progressive Bernie loving Democrats has been violent and divisive.
After the negotiations officially failed, a progressive that I respect (and agree on 90%+ of policy) referred to the No voting Republicans as terrorists. TERRORISTS! The same people who murder innocent kids and families in public places in attempt to keep people permanently terrified and push a political or religious ideology? No. We can and should list a dictionary full of blistering criticisms to levy our disgust with these people. But terrorists they are not.
Using the term terrorist along with other violent rhetoric like ‘war’ or ‘Nazis’ will get us nowhere. As a matter of fact, it will only push us further into the descent of division. No one will ever negotiate, compromise or even listen to each other for a moment with threats of violence or to be likened to murderous psychopaths. We’ll continue to self segregate into bubbles, we’ll never leave our echo chambers and our misery will continue at a rapid pace.
Watch the most recent video of the NRA which uses a ton of violent rhetoric against the left including ‘clenched fist’, ‘war’ and you guessed it – ‘terrorist’. This is the type of thing that we’re doing back to them in return. After watching this video, how much compassion do you have for your neighbor?
Regardless of opinions, beliefs, fear or frustration, I beg you, do not engage in violent rhetoric!
All opinions are my own and not representative of any other organization, company or person other than me. -James
James is resident of Auburn, a member of the Auburn Democrats, the Maine Young Dems, Maine People’s Alliance, and the Communication’s Coordinator of the Androscoggin County Young Dems