Even though there had already been two other innocent lives lost due to gun violence earlier in the week, it took the senseless slaughter of five police officers for our politicians to get off their collective asses and say something. Within hours of last week’s Dallas mass shooting, the roar of American political leaders’ loafers and high heels could be heard across the country as they raced to make speeches before the American public. President Obama stated that he felt the nation was not actually divided while House Speaker Ryan said we were and wondered how we’d become so polarized. Meanwhile, Minority House Leader Nancy Pelosi quoted Dr. Martin Luther King in some sort of patronizing way to placate angry black protesters. Some politicians blamed the shooter, some claimed that the lack of gun control was responsible and still others placed liability with Black Lives Matter members.
And though they were all so quick to point their fingers in one direction or the other, none of them, not a single one ever contemplated that they should look into the mirror at their own rhetoric, their own actions when trying to understand where this anger came from. With rare exception, all of our political leaders called for Americans to become less divisive, more respectful, less angry and more compassionate. None of them seemed to know why Americans were so angry, so divisive. Really?
We are angry in part because you want us to be. Seems to me that Republicans and Democrats have been coveting this divisiveness for quite some time. You have been enthusiastically fanning the flames of divide and conquer among the American populace for decades now. Your ideologies have become so separated that you can almost never agree on anything. Our divisiveness is spawned by yours. You routinely attack each other when you disagree, as if you all are children. You often refer to each other as “terrorists, liars, losers and clowns.” On every type of media, we see your paid pundits calling each other “communists, Nazis and racists.” And you wonder why we are so polarized?
Of the problems Americans are struggling with day to day, you do nothing about. In many communities, our water is not even drinkable. Some have no access to healthy food or decent medical care. Many of us are at best living pay check to pay check because our wages have not increased with the rate of inflation. Others have seen their retirement savings and 401K’s disappear. Why? Because your policies allowed the mortgage crisis to happen. You then forced us to pay for their bail outs while holding no one accountable. Our savings and homes were lost, and no one went to jail. And yet you don’t understand why we are angry?
When innocent black lives are taken by police, some of you blame the victims saying they didn’t cooperate even though there is video evidence showing they did. Others simply say nothing. When forty-nine innocent LGBT lives were taken in Orlando, some of you said nothing. Others professed to be outraged only to turn around and continuing writing legislation to make it legal to deny LGBT people their civil rights. When the majority of Americans demanded some sort of gun control, some of you refused to even have a vote on legislation while others of you sat on the floor demanding a vote. Both Democrats and Republicans then drafted their own bills because they could not come together. Votes were therefore partisan and stood no chance of passing. Divisiveness by your example.
When you finally do agree to take action, it is to benefit yourselves. You have no problem passing legislation when it comes to your pay raises, health benefits, retirement packages or vacation time. When legislation that benefits your precious big pharma, big banking and big oil donors, of which you all take lobbying money and campaign finance donations from, you manage to come together and pass that. If you think your ideologies have anything to do with what the American people think or want, then you are woefully mistaken. Neither party asks the public what is important to them. Neither party funds their elections with lobbyists for the American citizens. Do you still wonder why we are taking to the streets in protest?
Congress and other leaders, you have created this problem. You, our elected officials, are the reason we are so divided. Don’t worry about whether we respect or have compassion for one another. We do, which is why we are marching and protesting together. It is you that we do not respect. It is you we are angry with. It is you that is so divisive. It is you that encourages racist, homophobic and misogynist behavior. We are angry with you Congress. We do not respect you, and you do not represent us.
Look in the mirror.