Photo by Casey Gomez

About a year ago, I wrote an editorial on the dire need for a return to civil discourse in this country. It was right around that time that Former Reality TV Star Donald J. Trump was elected to the office of president of the U.S.

Since then, the vitriolic rhetoric, the heat generation has only been ramped up. Instead of making any meaningful attempt to moderate the hatred of our fellow countrymen, we as Americans have chosen the steep, slippery path downward, one surely filled with darkness.

The chief issue at hand is no longer anything to do with the economy or corruption. The only concern now is whether Americans can be made to live peacefully in the same country as their ideological adversaries.

Many among us these days are willing to dispense with any type of meaningful conversation in order to express how strongly they feel on a certain issue.

Instead of debating ideas on merits, the individuals purporting them are attacked themselves by their opposition.

On the left, calls for restraint on Russian-investigation hysteria are met with the McCarthyist labels of “collaborator” and “Russian agent.” The right slams those who oppose the agenda of Trump or his administration with the slurs “cuckservative” and “libtard.”

The intolerance in our country is flagrant. For one reason or another, Americans seem to largely be more worried about their preconceptions being validated than anything else. No one wants to learn anything or be challenged by intrepid or foreign ideas.

The de-evolution of human communication is further seen in the meteoric rise of “meme” culture. While a fun distraction in small doses, the fact that some of my friends seem to communicate solely through tagging others in memes can get kind of depressing. Not only are we forgetting how to civilly converse — our society is losing its grasp on conversation altogether.

Perhaps some who exhibit such disdain for perspectives dissimilar to their own do not choose their behavior out of egotism. Many have probably been trained by the constant dull roar of our media today.

It is certainly worth pointing out that the financial carrots and sticks are definitely aligned in such a way to make intense, angry arguments on hot-button issues with red-faced and shouting panelists the preferable content for network shareholders. The casual viewer is drawn to this type of “news,” as it borders on entertainment. And of course other stations have to compete with that magnetic reach.

So maybe it is no wonder it seems that so many among us these days seem to only want to get angry and stay angry when introduced to any sort of disagreement. It is what is being fed to us.

If this has all been a plot on some level by the powers that be, I extend my congratulations. With the populace distracted at each other’s throats for a myriad of trivial reasons, the rich and powerful are more free than ever to enact and impose their will. Truly, if Trump’s election has surely meant anything, it is the opposite of returning the U.S. to the common people. Whether intentionally or no, the common people have been whipped into a frenzy unseen since the late 1960s and early 70s.

Regardless, it needs to end now. If ever there was a need for a greater level of human understanding to be achieved, it is certainly the present moment rather than any later.

No matter what the cause is, a solution to the conditions it brings about needs identification.

If you recognize yourself or your behavior in any of the aforementioned descriptions, please make an effort to listen to those who might think differently than yourself.

Letting intense passion on a subject overwhelm rational thought and conversation might be tempting. But stop and make to effort to ask yourself: what does it achieve to scream your opinion at a dissenter? In a discussion between equals, has hostility from one ever won
the other?