Black Lives Matter. Blue Lives Matter. All Lives Matter. We have a problem in America. A problem buried deep down in our core. Deep down in the heart of what makes people, people, of what makes a society a cohesive unit. A fundamental trait that as people in this nation we have exaggerated instead of diminished – the great divide – everything, EVERYTHING is us vs them. Every issue, no matter how complex or how simple, how momentous or insignificant, every issue in this country has a side. And if you’re on that side, you can’t be on the other, you can’t support the other, you can’t think about the merits of the other, because that is betraying your own side, your own beliefs. There is no middle ground in this nation anymore. And that’s the problem with everything.

Why do we ask ourselves how these things happen? We already know. Extremism begets violence. It begets it when we take sides instead of talk about racial inequities in the way the law is created, enforced, and judged AND instead of talking about how we can keep those who enforce it safe. It begets it when we paint entire races, religions, orientations with one paintbrush instead of talk about the different facets of each have their positives and negatives, their good and their bad. A man ambushes police officers. 5 dead. A man shoots up a gay night club. 49 dead. A man shoots his ex-wife. 1 dead. Different times. Different circumstances. Different extremes. Extremism is eating this country alive.

We have taken, as a nation, as individuals, to dealing with our daily lives only in terms of sides. One party has to be right, one party has to be wrong. If every circumstance is only ever black and white, without the shades of grey and every other color of the rainbow to paint it’s true picture, than we are truly and completely lost. Terrorism. Gun Control. Officer Safety. Racial Inequality. Poverty. Civil Rights. Healthcare even. These problems all are wrapped up in the ultimate problem- there’s always a side to be on. And when we have to pick sides, no one will ever win, because no one will ever actually do anything besides pick a side. If we can’t discuss issues without creating sides, we are doomed. Because sides don’t solve problems. And they never will.

Res Publica

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