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Radical Moderate: Why I am an Oxymoron

I absolutely hate talking politics. My news feed is packed with Trump haters and Trump lovers.  Even though, I personally cannot stand Trump—I still think those with opposing views still have a right to voice their opinion. No matter how much my skin crawls to think about Mexican families being separated from their loved ones, or my tax dollars being used to support a wall that won’t make a difference anyway—I still respect those who think it should be built. How can I respect these haters (or what I perceive to be hateful)? This applies to Democrats too. The right to voice your opinion is the reason this country is special. The real issue is the negative energy behind making decisions that support segregation and hateful demonstrations.

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I think Americans have become comfortable displaying outright hatred towards those who hold different values. This applies to Democrats too. There is plenty of news on both political sides that highlight the downfalls of each party. Whether you’re glued to Fox News, the BBC or CNN, I can promise you the news influences those decisions we use toshape our views and values. Whether or not you think these sources are absolute bullshit or not—it is our responsibility to piece together all the tidbits that comprise our political decision-making standards.

You may cringe or even laugh at the absurdities that make it into American news. Even though a clear separation from the values of both parties are represented on different platforms—it’s important we remember who decides what is news or not. I can assure you it isn’t the people—it is the news. Being a public relations specialist, I can guarantee news is based on ratings and responses. The news and social media instituations get a huge boner for creating animosity between both parties. These institutions are the foundation for sparking hate.

Ever wonder why a representative from each party are chosen to speak on behalf of Republicans or Democrats? It’s because news sources choose the candidate they think will support their issue the best and pair them with a weaker debater. These debaters are the masters of swing votes, and that is why they are so influential and dangerous.

The best way to divide a country is to focus on the fear and hatred of those who aren’t politically educated about of certain important issues. These people typically don’t travel, are judgmental of alternative lifestyles, and are ruled by their own fears. Many panic that by voting for gay marriage—they have succumbed to sinning and going against God’s great plan for us. Or, even worse, avoid the real issues and focus on the political views of family and friends without doing any research at all. In fact, the sole news sources they are surrounded by only focus on their party’s interests. Many of them don’t even vote, and if they do—it’s on the condition of group mentality. How do we encourage people to gather a plethora of information from a variety of news sources before they jump to a resolution?

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If you think about it, educating people about where they get their news might be first step to swaying those swing voters. Empowerment and voting confidence is built through personal choice and deciding on those issues that mean the most to them. Ever try to have a conversation with a fundamental Christian (this doesn’t apply to all religious people) about a woman’s choice to carry a pregnancy or not? It will be the same answer every time (God said, “thou shall not kill”), and it is because their value system is mainly based on their religion, family constructs and biblical diatribes.

Pro-life might be the only factor they consider when voting conservative. It isn’t based on personal rights. Or… they might argue, they are giving a voice for those embryos that don’t have a voice yet. What if a woman was starving with a baby? What if she steals food? “Thou shall not steal” either. There are different circumstances in every ethical issue. I think many people lack empathy–they do not have the ability to put themselves into someone else’s shoes. It’s either right or wrong. There is no gray area. There are many factors a woman might choose abortion—and I don’t care who you are, it’s a painful and difficult decision.

Have there ever been times you have supported an issue for those you feel don’t have a voice in our society? Of course there is. It’s important to hear the concerns of other types of views. This is how we empower ourselves to seek out the reasons behind our votes. Other voters are just as passionate about their values as you are passionate towards your values. So how the hell do we combat different value systems? Regardless of these battles, differences in views allow us to research ways we can present certain issues in an objective manner. This is the only way to fight against those values we find unacceptable. If you’re pissed at Trump, try researching the reasons he is so influential. What are the gray areas, and why do people support his ideas?

While doing some research on the “Mee too” movement, I discovered both men and women opposing certain aspects of this particular issue. Surprisingly, on social media, many women thought females were making a big deal out of nothing. Our society and news had brainwashed these women to accept degrading behaviors from men. Some social media sites listed some women’s views, “She shouldn’t have put herself in that situation.” “Women should be grateful for their opportunities.” “She was asking for it.” “Not all men are evil or sexually driven.” I agree with the last comment—on account that I’m raising a respectful young man who has defended females in numerous situations. However, the important issue is how do we get people to see a more well-rounded overview of a complicated issue. I say we start focusing on our differences in order to influence those in the gray area.

 

In every situation and political stance, there are many like me, who seek out several news sources and social constructs that allow me to look at all the angles. I don’t care whether or not you agree or disagree—the important fact is there are many legitimate concerns of opposing views to sift through. By allowing ourselves to utilize the news, we can be empowered by information that allows us a thorough view of particular subjects. This is an advantage people! It is only by discovering the reasons behind the votes that can truly sway those citizens who live in the uncertain gray area. These are the people who can sway legislation. We should be focusing on them instead of our extreme left or right views. After all, if you surround yourself with other left or right extremists—you are just hiding under a safety blanket. This is just as damaging, because it solely focuses on your party’s ideas instead of researching why people vote a certain way and how we can introduce a subject from an educated, holistic view.

When the “Me Too” movement kicked off—there was a fire sparked under the ass of every woman. Whether you agreed or thought it was ridiculous—everyone had an opinion. I was blown away every time I heard a woman say “they are making a big deal out of nothing.” Wow! I never thought I would hear a woman say that after a trial against the worst pedophile charged with assaulting dozens of female athletes. What the fuck, ladies? But, then I realized, these women were segregating and excusing certain behaviors among powerful men. In fact, many thought it was a witch hunt. They based their decision on the women who took advantage of this movement, as well as following their political party’s stance. They were probably watching news that constantly questioned these victim’s characters. If news only portrays the negative aspects of an issue—guess what you will remember? Don’t think about an elephant. Did you picture an elephant? Exactly.

I think many platforms can sway a person to label or create an idea about whatever issue is presented to them. The “Women’s March” was created in response directed towards injustices brought upon females. Collective group organization with good intentions can promote the most change. Think about Martin Luther King Jr. However, sometimes people use the wrong platforms to convey a particular message.  At the Phoenix rally, there were a certain group of confident older women chanting and proudly wearing knitted labia hats. Even though I found this awesome and empowering—I didn’t find the Women’s March the best place to promote our bodies. Why? Because we want to be taken seriously. If we really want white, privileged men to notice our collective power and strength—I can assure you that rocking a crocheted, genitalia hat isn’t going to do it.

Being a part of the gay community and being new to the gay community, I have not experienced as much bigotry that has distraught my other gay friends. Not saying I haven’t experienced any negative comments or actions, but I do think it’s important to show straight people that the gay people are the same as them with many of the same family values. We make up brothers, sisters, co-workers, social-service employees etc. We may have different family dynamics, but we are just as loving and care about our families just as much as the straight population. It’s almost as if people think homosexuality is a virus and can be healed. As far as I’m concerned—anyone who is interested in what I’m doing under the sheets is creepy as hell. I don’t give a shit about how my straight neighbor prefers it. It’s my business to focus on my values and not conform to someone else’s fear-based rules.

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Fear promotes hate and segregation. Therefore, I’m going to stay educated with a variety of news sources. It’s the only way to make my arguments more influential about issues I truly care about—like gay marriage. Don’t be afraid to listen to some ass hat. There is an advantage to listening to judgmental people. I’ve discovered many more aspects that influence judgmental people during election time . In the end, you might figure out a way to create leverage with those in the gray area. If not, let them go. There is no time to waste on someone who isn’t willing to look at the entire picture. Unfollow them on social media, and focus on the real values Jesus promoted: compassion, tolerance and acceptance. After all, “He who cast the first stone” people!

Interestingly enough, I’ve discovered many people select what values they take from The Bible similar to selecting ripe fruit from the store. Pick the good fruit, and all other questionable fruit can be pushed aside. Most fundamental groups ignore the real issues and moldy fruit. It’s much easier to focus on the perfect fruit, without considering the advantages and options of expired foods. Maybe a homeless shelter might benefit? Although, many seem to be only interested in image, supporting party preferences, being a compliant sheep, and selecting the fruit that appears perfect. For now, I’ll stay in my moderate-box, educate myself and make jam from my expired fruit. But, most importantly—play the devil’s advocate and focus on those swing voters.

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