Sunday, January 22, 2017


As someone who has understood frustration, anger, and marginalization as a member of both sides of the isle, I have to say that the fundamental misunderstanding of what “freedom” really means in this country is the most disturbing thing about this entire election cycle. Anytime you find yourself thinking “that shouldn’t be allowed” consider that your values are a product of your environment and we as a heterogeneous society only thrive based on these distinctions.

People will always have differing political ideologies based largely on their circumstances and instilled values, but a hallmark of American “freedom” is the ability to express those views without fear of governmental retribution. This, of course, does not mean that your opinion cannot be challenged by antithetically minded peers, and some would argue that this debate is the foundation of what makes the US a great bastion of freedom. Freedom is rarely comfortable, clean, or complacent and the expression of is bound by its very nature to cause distress in some. It is important to remember that uncomfortable, unpopular, and even offensive speech is protected, but that does not mean it should not be challenged.

With all that said, as a progressive I am frightened by the conservative social agenda of the next four years. You cannot preach unity through marginalization. Doing so makes nothing great again, it simply shifts the focus to a different subset of people. As a humanist, I am saddened by the potential backslide on matters of conclusively proven scientific merit in favor of the aging theocratic ideals of a rapidly declining majority. As a Buddhist, I am distressed by the vitriol with which both side conduct themselves. There can be no constructive dialogue until put aside the ego driven pursuit of “rightness” and focus on the uniting thread of Americanism that connects all of us: Freedom.