OPINION: Extremism in 140 characters or less

Jonathan Glover, News Editor

Did you see that ludicrous display the other night? The way that one attacked the other, wow, it was viscous.

And the blonde guy, did you hear those racist remarks and his ridiculous stance on women’s rights? What an idiot.

And the black guy, I bet he didn’t even get into West Point. Oh he did? Well, then I’m sure it wasn’t a scholarship like he said it was. Nailed him.

That woman candidate though, she just doesn’t know what she’s talking about, leave politics to the men.

Following a GOP debate, it’s not rare to hear remarks such as these. In fact, I wouldn’t put it past anyone to boil down complicated topics like politics into quick, 140-character extremist arguments, perfect for a Twitter generation.

It’s almost as if our attention spans are so bad that we can’t or won’t focus on anything. That last sentence was 91 characters.

The same contrived statements can be said about conservatives when talking about liberals.  

How many times have we heard the classic “bumper-sticker” arguments that President Obama has only increased the amount of poor in the nation, or that he’s (somehow) not a real American.

Or that Bernie Sanders is a socialist, which I guess is meant to be an insult that it isn’t (94 characters).

Or that Hillary Clinton doesn’t know how to lead a nation because she’s a woman (79 characters, I’m getting better).

If we all just took a second to stop and do some research, we wouldn’t need to resort to fourth grade antics when it comes to politics. It’s no secret that Americans are as divided as they’ve ever been politically, but are we all really so different?

I bet if you asked everyone to answer honestly what they value and how they think their country should be ran that they wouldn’t be too far off from each other. The problem is that this mindset isn’t the American way.

It’s us versus them, black and white, winners and losers. There is no more middle ground. It’s like we’re all sports fans, doubling down on our team. It’s ridiculous.

Rather than doing research and forming a well-thought opinion, our generation would rather take to our phones and start finger-shouting at the opposition. I cringe when I think about how stupid we’re all going to feel 20 years from now, looking back on our posting history.

I’m sure most people don’t even know that democrats used to be the “bad” party.

Democrats were in favor of slavery and if it weren’t for the more modest republicans, we would have likely never changed. Shame on us.

The Republican party changed, albeit they changed into a bat-shit crazy, divided crapshoot, but they did change. Why can’t we all change?

It doesn’t have to be a shouting match anytime political points are brought up. I subscribe to a liberal mindset, but there are many things about liberals that I vehemently disagree with.

I don’t like our stance on raising taxes blindly without checking on expenditures first. I mean, does anybody really know what the U.S. Department of Education even does? Can’t states dictate their education practices? And don’t even get me started on defense spending.

But it’s not really okay for me to say things like this. I have to be behind my party all the way and against everything the republicans say or I’m not a good little democrat.

I feel especially bad for RINOs (republicans in name only) who are lambasted by their own divided party for being too moderate. How dare they?

And what would the Twitter generation say about my using 3,367 characters to write this? Maybe wasn’t quite extreme enough; I wonder if anyone will even read it.