This column first appeared in the Platte County Landmark, the week of October 2, 2017.
It seems more and more every day that I am an enigma. Everyone seems to be picking sides, like the worldâ€™s meanest game of playground kickball. Lining up on the right are those aligned with certain ideologies, and they seem to be 100% opposite from those lining up on the left. There are television news programs aligned with one side or the other and you can easily start to pick out which side a person is on by the first few lines of their Facebook post.
And here I am – right in the middle. I seem to be wallowing in the shrinking minority of those on balance. Iâ€™m not a big fan of Donald Trump, but I see that many of the issues he is passionate about arenâ€™t terrible ideas. We do need immigration control. We do need to reform our tax structure. Iâ€™m not opposed to guns. I think we need guns for protection from crime. However, I really am not a fan of someone owning 47 guns and then mowing down a crowd at a concert.
Being in the middle sucks. Because you can easily see the slant people put on something that should be nonpartisan. For every dumb thing President Trump says (and they are many,) there are just as many social media posts that go way too far in criticism. You lose me when you start to wish harm on any President.
Somewhere, making a wicked burn in a Twitter post became the new normal in how to dialogue about political and societal issues. And here I am, stuck in the middle, trying to read more about the issues to understand that there really is room for compromise on most things and for those that arenâ€™t, then agreeing to disagree and moving along really is a viable option.
I am both Black Lives and Blue Lives Matter. I am also All Lives Matter and I also feel strongly about puppies (but not cats. Cats can go to hell). I am pro-choice, but feel that an abortion should be an absolute last choice instead of a first one. I am fiscally conservative and socially liberal. And I feel completely homeless in both the Democratic and Republican parties right now.
I donâ€™t think there was widespread voter fraud, while I would still like to strengthen voting security. I donâ€™t think Hillaryâ€™s emails were that big of a deal, and am still kinda pissed that Jared Kushner is using a private email server. I believe that the United States should lend a hand to anyone that needs it and to help with their growing elderly population, but I also would hope that it is done in a fiscally responsible manner giving priority to quality of care and patient outcomes rather than just a blank checkbook.
I think there are flaws with Obamacare and socialized medicine, but want to find a way that we adopt a model that has worked in other countries so nobody has to worry about getting care when theyâ€™re sick.
I feel that common sense is dying and the loudest voices are winning while I grow ever quieter unaware of a direction to go – paralyzed by both indifference and frustration.
I am the centrist – a dying breed, and I am doomed to see the good in both sides of an argument. Except cats. Cats are awful. Surely we can all agree on that.
[Featured image from The OdysseyÂ Online]