Those of Us on the Fence

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryAs the January 6th hearings in the U.S. Senate continue, there is one thing which the committee is not exactly dealing with; the ever growing polarization of American politics. This division between the Democratic and Republican parties is fast becoming a fight between political left and political right. This division is now being categorized as both sides seeing the other not as mere opponents but as outright enemies. This is extremely dangerous because one side or the other just might take violent actions. We are already beginning to see this with the attempted assassination of U.S. Supreme Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the bombing of an anti-abortion organization’s building in Madison, Wisconsin, by a group calling itself Jane’s Revenge, and the prevention by law enforcement of a group calling itself Patriot Front trying to violently disrupt a gay pride are indicative of extremist groups taking matters into their own hands.

With this polarization, there is one other thing that the Senate committee is not taking into consideration; the attack against innocent people who want no part of extremism or extremist groups because they hold neutral opinions. With both the Democratic and Republican parties and their supporters moving to extreme opposite poles, an increasing number of Americans are becoming independents, or joining third parties who are not for the political left and political right. Many Americans are becoming disillusioned with the vicious street battles in our major cities, the partisan infighting between Democrats and Republicans, and the growing political violence from those who are taking matters into their own hands. Those of us Americans who wish to have nothing to do with this bitter political division are seeing how this is dividing our neighbors, our family, our friends, our work colleagues, and above all our nation.

As we get into another election cycle, the division seems to be getting worse. For those of us who do not support either side, we are finding ourselves more isolated amid the extremists, and having to tow a fine line between those we personally know who might be at each others’ throats. For those of us who are not part of this bitter division, we believe that the United States is and should be a nation founded on consensus, on what we do agree with and what we share in common, and how to move forward. Those of us Americans who are on the fence are becoming ever more concerned about the violence taking place around us, and the level or hatred people are showing against each other and the level of violence some people are willing to use to achieve their ends. Those of us who are on the fence have every right to fear being shot at by both the political right and political left, and the fear that we are not safe in our own homes. It was said best by former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”

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