My friend and I disagree

I’m tired.
I’m tired of people complaining about MAGA’s and tired of being called a libtard.
I’m weary of comments about people protesting lockdowns as stupid Darwin award winners and I’m weary of people saying that staying home is destroying our way of life.
Everyone can see that we’re stupidly polarized. Destroying our economy is somehow a democratic agenda and letting people die for the profit of others is somehow a republican agenda.
I would be thrilled if suddenly, overnight, political party designations just disappeared. Honestly, I hate the democrats as much as the republicans. I am disgusted by the whole lot of them. Just because I choose to stay home to avoid infection doesn’t mean I’m in favor of a liberal agenda. Just because I have money in the stock market doesn’t make me in favor of making money above all else.
I think everyone wants to Make America Great Again. We all agree that this, what’s happening right now – is not great. Was it ever actually great? Hard to say.
But everyone seems to forget that we all want the same damn thing: a safe place to raise our children, a decent job that pays a living wage and a way to not struggle when we’re old. I know that this sounds obvious and naive but then why is everyone so divided?

As I see it, the only real division between us is the division between people with power and people without. If you’re currently in power, you can very easily make lots of money and you can use that money to do all sorts of things like influencing legislation so you can make more money. If you’re in power, you’re guaranteed a safe place to raise your children, guaranteed to make as much money as you need or want and guaranteed a comfortable retirement. You can buy premium health care, exclusive education for your kids and are secure in the fact that you will never want for anything well into old age.
And then there’s the rest of us- those not in power. We may be financially comfortable (or not) but we’re not in power. We protest, by marching against government overreach or protest by marching against climate change. We protest by signing petitions to protect gun rights or to support gun control, but we do this because we are not in power and we want change. You may want everyone to have a gun, I want no one to have guns, but neither of us is in power.

My life did not go as planned – for most of my adult life, the advice I’d been given was always the same: Get a good job so you can have health insurance and put all your disposable income into the stock market to fund your retirement. Now I find myself unemployed and have very little saved for retirement- I’m really not in a great position financially.
But I worry not for me, but for my friend who is a trump supporter; he’s alarmed and he’s angry. I am too, but we seem to be angry and alarmed about different things. He’s angry and ready to fight about having his rights taken away by the shelter in place orders.
I agree that our government does not have certain rights. He believes the government doesn’t have the right to make us stay home and I believe that the government doesn’t have the right to give trillions of our tax dollars to companies that don’t pay taxes while giving people a $1200 loan again their next tax refund.
But I’m certain that we still want the same thing: a safe place to raise our children, a decent job that pays a living wage and a way to not struggle when we’re old, but if our funding for retirement is invested in the stock market and the economy is tanking, then it’s panic time. It seems that our only hope is to get the economy back to normal and stock prices back to where they were. But if that doesn’t happen because of those libtards that want to bring down the economy by staying home, then they are literally ruining our lives.

But what if capitalism is broken. What if the old advice about getting a good job so you can have health insurance and put all your disposable income into the stock market to fund your retirement is no longer viable. What if most of the burden of paying taxes falls not to those that can easily afford them, but to those that are already struggling. What if the system is rigged by those in power – banks will get bailouts while forcing millions of unemployed people to keep paying their mortgages, or generously defer payments for three months so that just when people are getting back to work, they suddenly owe four months of mortgage payments. What if companies worth $300 billion hire one-third of their employees as contractors so they don’t have to pay them benefits and then fire them after two years so they don’t get sued.
I’m alarmed and angry, just like my friend. I know he’s focused on protesting against governors that are keeping us locked up, but his life, just like my life is way more affected by a rigged system than a shelter in place order or even a virus. Why then, can’t we agree on the real culprit: it’s not the democrats, it’s not the republicans and it’s definitely not you or me.
Can we let go of the name calling and the labels? Can we stop mocking those protesting the shutdown and can we stop blaming those trying to protect others?
Let’s face it; we’re all getting screwed and our government isn’t going to help. Can we try to find some common ground and work together? Please?

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