A Republican and a Democrat are walking down the street when they see a fight between two young black men. The Democrat walks over, tries to separate the two young men and asks what the problem is, then he tries to get them both to calm down and discuss this reasonably. The Republican, on the other hand, says, “Let me get my gun!”
A Republican and a Democrat are walking down the street when they see a group of Black Lives Matter protestors holding signs. The Democrat walks on by, nods to them and gives them a thumbs-up. The Republican says, “Let me get my gun!”
There are many philosophical and ideological differences between the two major parties in the U.S. – there always have been – but some of the biggest are exemplified in the examples above: the gun culture, propensity to violence, and racism.
Republican politicos seem to think that appearing in ads with guns, threatening violence, is the way to win votes and influence people. A few examples …
- Georgia Governor Brian Kemp was rarely shown in campaign ads without a firearm, including one of him pointing it at his daughter’s boyfriend. Notice the arsenal behind him in the first picture, and the guns all around the room in the second.
- Also in Georgia, Marjorie Taylor Greene is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Greene is an avid supporter of QAnon, the conspiracy theorist group, and also an avid proponent of assault weapons. Her campaign ads include pictures of herself holding a gun, and also one of herself in a threatening pose in front of an image of several democratic members of Congress known as ‘the Squad’.
- Madison Cawthorn is a 24-year-old running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina. Madison, partially paralyzed from a car accident 6 years ago, has already been accused of sexual assault by several young women. He, too, has posted campaign pictures of himself with an assault weapon and enough ammunition to take out a small city.
I am told that this is to make them appear ‘tough’, but in my book it makes them appear to be cowards, for only a coward, a person afraid of something all the time, feels a need to carry a gun. I’ve managed for 69 years without ever picking up a firearm, have even faced down a gun twice, and still never felt a need to own one.
Another thing that separates the two parties is the attempt to eliminate the opposition in unsavory ways. I cannot recall a story about someone plotting to kill a republican candidate or official, but the attempts on democrats of late has been astounding. It seems that republicans are far more in favour of solving their problems with violence than democrats.
Remember Cesar Sayoc who in 2018 sent pipe bombs through the mail to former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as Representative Maxine Waters, Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, former Attorney General Eric Holder, two former intelligence chiefs (ex-CIA Director John Brennan and ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper), two billionaire Democratic donors and activists (George Soros and Tom Steyer), and actor Robert De Niro, as well as CNN’s world headquarters? Each of these individuals are democrats — not a single republican.
And just this month the Federal Bureau of Investigation uncovered plots to kill the democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and to kidnap the democratic governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer. Funny, but I haven’t heard of any plots to kill Mitch McConnell, or kidnap Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis.
And lastly, let’s talk a bit about racism as it is viewed by the two parties. According to a 2019 PEW Research study, a majority of Americans (56%) say Trump has made race relations worse; just 15% say he has made progress toward improving race relations, while 13% say he has tried but failed to make progress and 14% say he hasn’t addressed this issue.
Not surprisingly, assessments of Trump’s handling of race relations differ considerably along partisan lines. Democrats overwhelmingly say Trump has made race relations worse (84%), including large shares of black (79%) and white (86%) Democrats. Views are more divided among Republicans. About a third of Republicans (34%) say Trump has improved race relations and 25% say he has tried but failed to make progress; 19% of Republicans say he hasn’t addressed the issue, while only 20% say he has made race relations worse.
But what really shines a light on the differences in the way members of the two parties view race and racism is the acceptance or denial that racism even exists in the U.S. This chart tells the story …
There are many principles and ideas that divide the two parties, and until we find ways to narrow those divisions, to work together, to understand each other and to find common ground, we cannot begin to heal this nation. We look to the leadership of the nation, our elected officials, to find that common ground, to stop the hating, the violence, and to ensure that every person in this country has an equal opportunity, that guns are regulated in such a way to ensure the public safety, and that violence is strongly discouraged. For the past four years, the ‘leader’ of our government has encouraged violence, racism, and the gun culture, and this simply must stop, for we are on the brink of becoming a third-rate nation if it doesn’t.
Think about these things when you go to the polls in nine days. Think about the sort of country you wish to live in, and how best to achieve that. Donald Trump claimed he would “make America great again” … well, he has done the exact opposite and made this a far less desirable country to live in than it once was. Again, I ask only that you think about these things.