It’s in the books: the first Republican debate on the road to the 2016 presidential elections. As a native of Cleveland, I want to say how proud I am of this city and its people. Commentators said that the Cleveland audience was one of the most demonstrative in the last three election cycles. How cool is that?
But the coolness stops there. Based on the debate, the follow-up spin discussions, and the humorous, hateful, divisive, and ridiculous conversations flooding social media, one thing is sadly and obviously apparent: the politicians have very little meat in their ideologies and the American people are so focused on their own biases that the reality of what is happening in the world and our country simply is being nit-picked apart. It’s about special interests: God, abortion, Gay rights, racism, border protection, taxes, gun control, and way too many others to list here.
Don’t get me wrong — these topics are important, but they are too laser-focused and don’t address the three issues that prevent America from being as great as it used to be:
Some would say that this comment makes me a typical Republican. Maybe it does. But the way I see it, fixing the economy can go a long way toward fixing many of the current problems in this country. This involves getting the American workforce back to work, removing barriers to small businesses (like HVAC contracting firms) being successful, and protecting the American people from economic harm due to cyber crime (identity theft and worse) and cyber warfare.
Social issues also need to be addressed and right away. But as a nation, we cannot allow these issues to be so divisive that NOTHING gets done. We have to work together. It’s really easy for Democrats and Republicans to spout off finger-pointing rhetoric blaming each other for everything that ails this country. It’s much more difficult to force ourselves to work together for the common good.
I’m not talking only about politicians here. I’m talking about regular citizens, like you and me, who use social media be hurtful, to say things we wouldn’t say in a face-to-face discussion, to say things we’d never say to our parents or grandparents. This behavior works against all of us and it sickened me to see how quickly social media lit up after the debates with pure anti-Republican/anti-Democrat BS.
What we need, as a people, is to spend more time listening and thinking rather than spouting off whatever reactionary crap that comes to mind because someone doesn’t agree with our views and we don’t agree with theirs. We need to work together, within the parties, between the parties, as American citizens.
We, as a people, need to take the best ideas from both parties and work to make them a reality.
We, as a people, have to stop being so arrogant and self-important as to think our ideas are more important than other people’s ideas.
We, as a people, must have a more universal view of the world and its people or we are doomed to continue making ourselves weak and vulnerable.
From my standpoint, I’d rather not have our presidential elections become a comedic stand-up routine for the world to enjoy at our expense. Right now, that is exactly what is happening: America on parade. I’d rather we make this election about finding leaders who are willing to work as part of a team, together finding creative and workable solutions to the problems plaguing this great nation.
Why do we have to wait for a disaster to bring us all together?
Let’s stop this madness.
Let’s do it now. You can do your part by NOT trying to antagonize others whose opinions differ from your own. Avoid name-calling and ridiculing. State your opinions clearly and be open to what others think. If the masses do this, the politicians will follow suit.
Maybe we start just as the HVACR industry and create a grass-roots groundswell that others follow.