With the recent Presidential inauguration and associated protests, marches, demonstrations, etc. the political monster has reared its ugly head once more. Media outlets and social media have become prime platforms for political commentary, argumentation, advocacy and dialogue. In an age where political involvement is not just the norm but is the expectation, I find I have no place on which to stand.
This isn’t based on undefined political ideologies and ideals on my part; I consider myself an informed citizen and do my best to stand for the things I believe in. The problem is rather that the place where myself and others like me once stood has been largely obliterated. Biased media outlets, partisanism and the rampant “us-versus-them” mentality has left no place for the middle ground.
Today, thousands of women have gathered all over the world to march in advocacy of women’s rights and the perceived legislature they believe to accompany them. I am in full support of these women as they utilize their right to free speech and their right to protest what they see as corrupt practices. I agree with some of the doctrine on gender inequalities. I acknowledge their desire to be heard and applaud them for their efforts in as much as they are peaceful and law-abiding in their demonstrations.
But I myself cannot join the march. Why? Because while I agree with much of their platform, I don’t agree with all of it. I cannot give full license to a cause that I don’t wholeheartedly agree with. My voice, although exercised, would instead be heard to claim a position that I do not fully hold.
How can I fully give support to a single party if the other party holds truth for me as well? How do I lend full allegiance to a cause that I know has error, knowing that the other option does too? Where do I have place to stand if Option A and Option B are the only groups with land purchase, and my heart resonates with parts of both?
Of course, we can still pick a side, as many of us did in the election. Rather than searching high and low for an individual who best fit their personal beliefs and desired agenda regardless of party affiliation, many aligned themselves with the candidate they most agreed with. We see now that this was an error in judgment; they still don’t fully support their candidate. Instead, they are left wanting from their own party and defamed by the other with which they do hold in common some beliefs. Forevermore, their ideals and beliefs will be misrepresented. Whichever side they chose will eventually dismiss them for whatever practices they value that are not in accordance with the party agenda and the side they did not choose will hate them, regardless of the truths they hold in common.
If you listen to the media, you will see these phenomena in undeniable fashion. Take for instance the rhetoric aimed at Hillary or Trump supporters. No longer is there room for those who voted for the policies but not the person or vice versa. Instead, if you voted for Hillary you must agree with dark-room, backwards politicking cloaked in lies and if you voted for Trump you must be a racist, bigot, misogynistic, business-oriented male.
There is no middle ground. There is no compromise. There can no more be multi-faceted views or mixed positions. Those of us who still try to reside on this political land are left voice-less, persecuted and forgotten by the larger partisanship.
Is there anyone else out there who stands on the middle ground? Is there bravery enough for men and women to declare no single affiliation? Can we not claim to hold republican moral stances and democratic economic approaches? Can we take care of the earth while not claiming Global Warming as our drive? Is there no one left who holds deeply religious beliefs and a PhD in Physics? Where do we look to find commonalities accentuated rather than differences?
I don’t think I am alone in my stance. There must be others who feel to fight for women’s rights while disagreeing with funded abortion clinics. There have to be people who fall on both sides of the line when it comes to immigration and migration, education, health care, moral values, taxes, the presidential candidates and office holders. If we were honest and unafraid, we would find that these are in fact the majority.
Now more than ever, the political climate needs bipartisanship. It needs balance, not just across the multiple parties but within individuals themselves. It is from the voices of the middle ground that we will begin to see a unification amongst the American people. We offer the unique benefit of reminding others that neither political party holds all truth, that there are issues in need of address on both sides, and that you can have equal balance of justice and mercy, strength and compassion, self-preservation and humanitarianism.
To all those who stand with me here on the middle ground, I encourage you to take courage and share what you believe. Perhaps some may call you indecisive or wishy-washy, but your ability to see good in many places is a gift the world needs. We need to represent ourselves as truly as we can so that others may feel liberated to do the same. We are not the minority and we need not be silent. Indeed, we can be the very foundation on which our nation may build itself as a single home – under God and indivisible.