Let’s Not Turn this Into A War that it’s Not
If you’re a Democrat advocating to re-open our country or a Republican taking extra precautions against the virus, you’re just an oxymoron. You’re simply strange. Our country is at war, up and arms against a foreign enemy. But instead of uniting to fight together, we have chosen sides. Our nation is more divided now than ever before: COVID-19 may be what shatters the cracking glass that is America.
Labelling and trash talking fellow citizens of opposing views, party lines have divided us once again into tribes. Americans demanding to open the country for economic stimulation are looked down upon as selfish Trump supporters who choose “profit over people;” these ‘Republicans’ aren’t panicked, don’t wear a mask, and sneeze in public. On the other side of the field, we have those pressing for lockdown measures: “Democratic Nazis,” stripping Americans of their rights to
work and live. If you think this is ridiculous or untrue, you don’t have to go far. From the very comfort of your home, login to facebook or instagram and read people’s comments; from steps just outside your door, take a walk with your dog or a friend, without a mask, and see how people act; take a trip to your local grocery store and witness this madness for yourself. So, what’s it gonna be, right or left? Well, your reactions to this chaos will send you to your destined camp.
As American society segregates further, news publications and media outlets have as well. The pandemic has enabled media companies to promote their biases, using the outbreak to vilify their political opponents. COVID-19 has stripped media outlets of their ‘fair and balanced’ cover: where each outlet sways has been blatantly exposed.
At home, CNN usually runs on TV. We’ve trusted CNN’s coverage during US elections and on a daily basis for national news. However, many have been disappointed with their reporting ever since the outbreak. My parents and I have been switching between news channels as many of CNN’s commentators have shifted their attention from focusing on an objective view of the virus to purely blaming Donald Trump. More specifically, Don Lemon didactically twists every word Trump says into a negative light; every move the President makes–regardless of its relationship to COVID-19– is shamed and criticized. While I agree that our President has made irresponsible decisions and has handled the situation poorly, there is no excuse to make circular ad-hominem attacks day after day on national news. As a network that millions of Americans watch daily, it is CNN’s responsibility to provide facts and exemplify role models in leadership to guide our own.
There is no need to politicize every issue. America cannot afford civil war while we, as a nation, are facing an invisible enemy. Day after day, we are ravaged in a bloody battle against COVID-19. Conservatives and Liberals, we are all at risk: no knight in shining armour will come defend a particular party. We can no longer label each other as selfish Republicans or Democratic Nazis; as much as we want to protect ourselves and we act in fear, this will only hinder progress. We depend on our own strength, our immunity as individuals.
So, what’s it gonna be right or left? Well, we may have just forgotten that there is an in between. Coming together and finding balance in our views are the seeds that give birth to new innovations and solutions. When Thomas Jefferson insisted on implementing political parties during the Constitutional Convention, he urged that they work together to benefit the country: when we engage in healthy debates that integrate controversial viewpoints, the best ideas will rise to the top. When we eradicate this ‘tribe’ mentality–the one that tears our stars and stripes apart– we can play as a team to devise strategies and overcome challenges. Adversity is only averted with unity.