As a rule, I try not to take any sort of political opinion from Charles Barkley. He’s a goofy basketball analyst. I don’t even typically watch basketball enough to see what he has to say about anything.
So when I saw that he was trending for something he said, I paid it no mind. I figured it was some zany basketball take. Perhaps a wacky takedown of one of the Final Four teams. But when I woke up on this Easter Sunday and actually listened to what he said, I was shocked.
Here is a link to Barkley’s comments. I suggest you give it a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bbb9L42NHc
There is no question in my mind how correct Chuck is here. Just take a look at the infrastructure of the political system. Republicans vs. Democrats is killing our country. Having only two parties creates a massive divide between people. You’re either left or right. There is no such thing as being somewhere in the middle. And if you disagree with one aspect of either side, you’re labeled a bigot or a communist.
For as long humans have been talking to each other, there have been disagreements. As I’ve learned in my experience in every argument, there’s one person’s side, the other person’s side, and then somewhere in the middle is the right side. I am just as guilty of it as anyone. I’ve written some blogs that I know a lot of people don’t like. That’s fine. I totally understand how that goes.
And this is not new to our country at all. The two party system has been in existence for as long as I can remember. But it hasn’t been this bad.
Politics used to be a niche interest. Only popping up every 4 years or so. Now that every political decision has been made life or death by both the right and left wing media, people are dividing themselves to a crazy degree. People are refusing to talk to family members and friends because of who they voted for. That is absurd. In the old days, you never knew who anyone voted for.
Personally, I have friends all over the political spectrum. I’ve got a friend who is almost as left as you can get, and one who is equally as far to the right. And then there’s me. Who sits right in the middle. But guess what? Both of them are coming to my wedding in May, and we are going to have a damn good time.
We need to stop judging people based upon who they picked in an election. Like Charles Barkley said, the politicians are actually trying to divide us further so they’ll get votes. A wise man once said, “if half the people love you, and half the people hate you, then you’ve done something right.” These politicians are trying to get you to hate each other, so they can remain in power and feel important.
We see it in this pandemic especially. The people who want to control everyday life have made so if you want to live your life, then you are actually trying to kill people. That just isn’t true. The majority of folks have drawn a line between being cautious and being able to make a living. Where that line lies is a little different for everyone, but is always there.
And how could I forget the racial element that seems to loom over everything in this country. The far left wants to make everything racist, and the extreme right wants to make it seem like race has nothing to do with anything. Obviously, the truth is in the middle. Of course there are sometimes race-based attacks in this country. But saying that if you’re white, then you are inherently racist is flat out wrong.
I was raised to treat everyone the same regardless of color, creed or anything else. I judge everyone based on their character. What we are seeing is people being told to judge others based on what some suit in Washington thinks about them.
You see it on playgrounds all over this country. Little kids care nothing about what somebody looks like. They play with each other in relative peace and have no issues with each other. When adults inject the conversation of politics, economics or race into things is where we have problems.
This country needs to take notes from both the little kids, and Charles Barkley. We need to stop listening to people trying to get us to hate each other to earn votes. We need to just learn to disagree in a respectful way. When push comes to shove, those who are good will emerge and we will rid ourselves of the hateful ones.