I’m sure that my Twitter feed isn’t the only one that has become inundated with politics over the past two weeks, so I just wanted to break with tradition on this site and talk about politics just a little bit today. If you’re on this MLB site, we already have something in common, so let’s try to build on that.
After seeing how family and friends on Facebook, and complete and utter strangers on Twitter have been talking to (at) one another, I decided that I had to take a stand on the outlet that I have.
Social media has always been an ugly place. Trolls roam free, hiding behind their eggs and saying vile things to regular people just for lulz. The difference in the past couple of weeks has been the outrage on both sides of the political spectrum has been firing shots, egg or no egg, at one another on a constant basis. I am worried that this will all come off preachy, which is certainly not my intent, so if that’s how you interpret the following sentiments, then I apologize in advance.
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Everyone is scared of something. For children (and some adults) it could be the dark, or monsters. For adults, it’s basic freedoms being taken away or general safety for you and your families. I would wager that for the most part, we’re all in the same boat and have many of the same concerns. Where politics come in is how we go about fixing those issues. I don’t want to get into specifics because I want to keep everything mellow and nonpartisan, but we can all agree that terrorism is bad and a strong economy is good, right?
With those building blocks in place, it shouldn’t be terribly hard to have a discussion with people that have a difference in opinion from yourself. People get defensive when insults are getting hurled at them, and when someone gets defensive it becomes less about having a conversation and more about hurting the other person with retaliatory rhetoric. It’s just not healthy, and is no way to start mending the divide that is occurring on a daily basis in the UNITED States of America.
We’re obviously going to disagree on political issues from time to time, but something that I have been doing more of in the past two weeks has been trying to see each story through the lens of both parties. And you know what? I get it. I can see why people are outraged over certain topics. We all live in our own little bubbles, and this is the best time for us to take a peek outside of those bubbles and inform ourselves from sources other than Facebook.
The way that politics work, there are always going to be millions of people that disagree with you throughout the country for one reason or another, and everyone is going to think that their opinion is the right opinion. If you’re traditionally a Republican, give an article on Washington Post a try. If you’re a Democrat, tune in to Fox News. If you watch both side’s reporting you’ll get a better understanding of what the truth really is, which will lead to more informed opinions, and a stronger country overall. If both news sources agree on something, then it’s probably accurate. Chances are this won’t happen terribly often, as different outlets have different audiences that they have to appease.
So how does this all relate to MLB? Here at Call to the Pen we’re all baseball fans. Sure we have certain teams that we root for more than others, but baseball is something that brings us all together. For those of us on Twitter, there is likely a large portion of the people that you follow that are also baseball fans–and not everyone is going to have the same point of view as you. What I would like to see more of is this: Find that common ground with one another. You can still converse about politics, but don’t turn it into a screaming match over who’s right. Try to understand one another. If you find that impossible, stick to baseball with that particular person and try again with someone else.
I have gone to spring training in Arizona the past few years, and it has always been a great experience. One of my favorite memories was before a game my wife and I were walking around near the concessions area when the National Anthem began to play. Literally everyone stopped in their tracks, took off their hats and addressed the flag. It’s impossible to think that each of the couple hundred fans that saluted would have the same political views, which we were united on two things: This country, and baseball.
Just because someone voted for a different candidate than you doesn’t mean that they’re a bad person. They have different interests that you, and that’s ok. If both sides feed into the hate that they’re feeling for one another, then things will only get worse. The more than we unite ourselves over things like our commonalities, rather than rip each other apart over our differences, the better off this country that we are all lucky enough to call home will be.