A dangerous breakdown

Published 6:40 pm Thursday, October 25, 2018

If you’ve checked out the news in the past 48 hours, chances are you have seen, heard or read something about a disturbing trend taking place throughout the country.

During he past two days, explosive devices were sent by mail to high profile figures in the Democratic Party, including the Obama family, the Clinton family and George Soros. Among the 10 devices sent by mail, one was addressed to CNN.

Fortunately, no one was injured or killed by these devices, all of which were safely dismantled by law enforcement.

Is this really what our country has come to?

Granted, whoever is behind these mailings is likely off the political scale in terms of extremism. But these acts of domestic terrorism are symptomatic of an even greater disease — America is divided in a way never before seen in living memory. The dividing line splits us into camps of different ideologies and political beliefs, and there is less and less room for middle ground in the growing rift.

We have come to the point that we refuse to hear beliefs and ideas outside of our own, and even go as far as to demonize the beliefs of others. We have become caught in echo chambers of our own making.

What we’re seeing in American society is a fundamental breakdown of our ability to communicate and compromise. We’ve allowed ourselves to be branded by our political ideologies to the point where identity trumps our common humanity.

Americans are fortunate to live in a country where free expression and freedom of political thought are guaranteed by our foundational documents. But when our debates become shouting matches and our politicians desperately cling to power for partisan gains, it is the people of this country who suffer.

We may disagree and debate and things may even get heated from time to time … but to wish death upon someone because of their political ideology?

This most recent attempt at violence should be a red flag to us all. The behavior exhibited by the person who mailed these devices is no different than the tactics incorporated by the likes of Al Qaeda or ISIS. It is the textbook definition of terrorism — the unlawful use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

Right or left, no matter how you vote, we must all come together to strongly condemn violence in the political process. That’s not how we settle our debates in the United States of America.