Much like biological development, social abilities generally follow the same pattern of development in all people. When it comes to social interactions, we first figure out how to have positive and negative emotions. We learn how to direct those charged emotions at one, then two people. By the time we have reached adolescence, we should be able to feel complex emotions for many people. We can hate our mom for grounding us, but still love her at the same time. America is socially stunted. As a whole, we’ve never made it to this final stage of complex social relations. We denounce black and white ideologies and praise the idea of the fluid spectrum when it comes to things like gender identity or sexuality. Yet at the root of it all, are we not a 2-party system? It has become nearly impossible to be a bipartisan citizen. We are not allowed to believe that Black lives matter, and still support the police force. We cannot be both religious and accepting of all people. For every new victory in making progress, it seems that an old value is denounced. We can move forward while still maintaining some of our old values, but society seems to think otherwise. And so it has come to be that progress means shaming many people. To be politically correct and socially accepted, we must praise minorities and scowl at the White Man. And while there surely have been mistakes made in the past by a society that was mostly controlled by the WASP, we cannot hold today’s men accountable for those same deeds. I have met people from all walks of life and I see value in ALL of them. I have straight, white, Christian, male friends and they are some of the best people that I know. But they are made to carry the weight of all that is wrong with our society. White men are a majority. This means that there are many more of them than anyone else. So it is only natural that they have more bad eggs than any other group. But guess what? They also have more good ones. It isn’t so hard to believe that people who feel that their traditional values – note I say traditional and not outdated; not all traditional views are bad ones – are being trampled on would look at a man who does not follow the convention of political correctness and breathe a sigh of relief.
I do not say this as an endorsement of Trump. I feel that he, too, is of the black and white mindset. His side goes against the grain of society recently. Rather, I implore people to seek out the middle ground. The safe space, so to speak, where complexity can be appreciated and we can act like fully developed adults who can have their own opinions, and respect those of someone different. A space where we do not think in black and white, in yes or no. Where I can say that I am I Christian who does not discriminate against the LGBT community. Where I can be an educated white woman who wants to help the poor regardless of race. Where I can exercise my right to speak out freely against war and still appreciate the men who have fought to protect that freedom for me.
Life is full of complexities and intricacies. Let’s stop simplifying it.