Patrick Murphy

Will we ever treat each other the same?

I read about a woman who said she will never talk to her sister or some of her friends again because their political beliefs differ from hers.

That startled me, but it got me thinking that she is probably not alone.

I wonder how many families and friendships will be strained or even lost because of the widening political gap in this country.

Our ability to sit and discuss politics without becoming emotional and angry at those who think differently than us is waning.

We are divided by so many issues — climate change, races, abortion, law enforcement, the coronavirus, womens’ rights, voting, mail delivery, and all of those issues stem from differing political points of view.

Republicans and Democrats have always been divided, and have always divided the country, but I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime.

There is real animosity in this country, and it’s not going to end anytime soon.

Republicans firmly believe in the president and his leadership, and Democrats are just as adamant they need to get elected to right the ship.

That has always been the case, but not to the volatile level it is today.

I have watched politicians battle over our votes for decades, but never in my lifetime has an election been so critical and drawn so many people’s attention.

I fully expect near-record or a record number of votes cast in the Nov. 3 General Election, and I also fully expect the election to be controversial and to widen the differences and heighten the anger and violence in this country to heart-breaking levels.

Regardless of the outcome, there will be bloodshed. People will take to the streets, some to protest, some in jubilation, but they will clash because each side is convinced they are completely right and the other side completely wrong.

There is no middle ground anymore, there is no coming together to talk peaceably and to come to a compromise.

Our leaders cannot even meet in the middle on stimulus packages without name calling and contention even though the country is in dire straits.

People are suffering. That have lost their jobs, they are sick, they are dying, they are hurting, and the people who have the power to help us heal are too busy trying to get elected.

The worst part is they work for us, but we do not demand enough from them.

We take sides without even considering we need to work together.

At some point, and it won’t come soon, the coronavirus will pass. We’ll eventually get a vaccine, and we will turn a corner and life will resume at whatever normal becomes.

But there are so many issues dividing us I am not optimistic we will come together anytime soon to make the world better.

The woman who won’t talk to her sister again and is willing to lose friends over politics is not some crazy person screaming in the middle of a Target store. She is us, so outraged at the other side she cannot fathom that they are also Americans who want the best for our country.

Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor at The Telegram.