Letter to the editor: In spite of all our best efforts, politics will always be messy
Voyaging to the Pacific Northwest reopened my eyes to a continuous truth regarding U.S. political sentiments: that in spite of all our best efforts, politics will always be messy. Sometimes distressingly so. Regardless of anyone’s opinions of face masks or the political undercurrents therein, I witnessed shared sentiments that vary wildly merely across state lines. And what explains this? What social mechanisms produce these results? And what beliefs are fueled by them?
Though these questions and others like them are very deep, they are still very real. And it is worth noting with a generous helping of empathy that each of our neighbors holds unique faiths and ideologies. It is due to our differences that we all again stand — sometimes helplessly — in another social riptide.
The times we live in are scarcely normal, but that fact is scarcely new. There has barely been a year in our colorful past upon which the people felt stable and content. Uncertainty in our collective future has always meant that no particular ideal today is either perfectly endangered or impossible. The space between every election since 1776 has been marked by lurching social advances, a fierce ricochet we all experience between fear of losing all freedoms and triumph for achieving a country defined by freedom.
The point is that every big day has been won on the shoulders of bold endeavors by people with mud on their shoes and hope in their hearts. Solutions exist to our worst nightmares — violent injustice, social unrest, natural disasters, even extinction — and we shall find them. But the moral of the story is to endeavor together not stand apart. We’ve yet to face months of growing divisions in spite of our duties at hand, and we must ask ourselves, “To what end?”
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