In Times of Conflict, We Must Find Common Ground

In order to preserve freedom for generations to come, we must learn to value free-thinking and diversity of opinion.


@VicVela1, Twitter

A supporter of President Trump seen shaking hands with a supporter of President Biden (October 10th, 2020)

In the years leading up to the American Civil War, the United States of America was hopelessly divided. When it came to the issue of slavery, both the northern states and the majority of the southern states had their own beliefs surrounding the issue. Both sides had strong opinions, but did not have any desire to come to a compromise. On June 16, 1858, Abraham Lincoln, running for the United States Senate at the time, delivered his now-famous “House Divided” speech in which he advocated for unity during the turbulent times that the United States was experiencing. Although the United States has come a long way since the 1850’s, politics still remain a dangerously divisive topic.

Fast-forward to the current climate in the United States. On Nov. 8, 2016, Donald J. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the Presidential Election. Instead of unifying as Americans after President Trump won in 2016, top-ranking Democrats and celebrities have done nothing but stoke the flames of hatred and division. In 2018, Representative Maxine Waters spoke to a crowd of her supporters, encouraging them to harass Trump Administration officials in public if they are seen, and to “get out and (…) create a crowd (…) and tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.” Celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Kathy Griffin and Johnny Depp have all suggested killing the President. Madonna even suggested blowing up the White House. The repulsive, threatening, and anti-American language that has come from the radicalized members of the left is unnecessary, and only fuels fire for hatred.

Democrats also refused to accept the results of the 2016 election, claiming that there was wide-spread voter fraud. Nancy Pelosi, who was the House-Minority leader from 2016 to 2018, posted a tweet on May 16th, 2017 that said, “Our election was hijacked. There is no question. Congress has a duty to #ProtectOurDemocracy & #FollowTheFacts.” Nancy Pelosi posted this tweet over 18 months after the 2016 Election, clearly showing her refusal to accept the results of the election. For the entirety of President Trump’s tenure in the White House, Democrats maintained this belief.

On Nov. 10, 2020, after a long, tumultuous election, Joe Biden was declared the President-Elect of the United States of America. However, many supporters of the now-former President believed that there were legitimate instances of voter fraud across the country. Even before the election results were certified for President Biden, supporters of President Trump believed that the election was rigged, sharing videos and pictures of ballots being thrown away, miscounted or changed. Many high-ranking Democrats, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said that Republicans were trying to “distract and divide” the country as they refused to accept the results of the 2020 election. However, many saw this comment by the Speaker of the House as hypocritical, as she had not had this position in 2016.

Why is it acceptable for Democrats to only be concerned about voter fraud when they lose an election, and then completely change their message when they win? This is a very divisive, inconsistent and dangerous path to tread. All instances or allegations of voter fraud should be seriously investigated, not dismissed as misinformation. During the 2016 Presidential Election, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a full investigation in July of 2016, before President Trump was even elected, so why should allegations of voter fraud not be investigated in 2020? Democracy is the keystone of the United States of America, and if there are credible allegations of election fraud, they should be looked into with a close eye.

As a result of top-ranking Democrats shutting down all allegations of voter fraud from those who worked at polling stations, to voters and lawyers providing testimony, many supporters of the President felt that the only chance they had at having their voices heard was to attend the President’s rally on January 6th, at which he hoped his supporters would peacefully protest and make it known that they believed the election was fraudulent. President Trump, in his speech on January 6th at the Capitol, said “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol Building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” To many of Trump’s critics, this kind of rhetoric incited the Capitol Hill Riots. To his supporters, however, this was a peaceful message encouraging practice of the First Amendment. Unfortunately for the United States of America, just like in the Civil War, Americans once again decided to be divided instead of coming together.
For the past four years, politics have been violent, hateful and divisive, due to the lack of unity between Republicans and Democrats, but for the sake of the United States of America, it is time to unite. Elections have consequences, and if one is unhappy with the results, Americans have been granted the right to vote. To quote President Ronald Reagan, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Many aspects of our political spectrum fail to unite Americans, from second amendment rights, to abortion and immigration policies. However, the vast majority of Americans respect this country, and it’s democratic process. In order for this process to succeed, and continue to be successful, Americans are going to have to put differences aside, remain consistent with opinions, and work with each other, or we will be doomed.