On demonization and a baseball game

Following the targeted shooting of Republican baseball players practicing last week in Virginia for the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity, there have been more bipartisan statements, from both sides of the aisle, than the American public has heard in perhaps years. That is fitting, in that the charity game itself, started in 1909 and played by members of Congress and their friends almost every year since, is an occasion of bipartisan congeniality, and competition, every summer. 

There were of course also many statements on both ends of the political spectrum that were divisive and inflammatory. Though the shooter was a Bernie Sanders supporter, however, Sanders himself disavowed and condemned his actions, and all violence taken to support political sides in America. 

The divided politics of the United States needs to stop leading to the constant demonizing of one’s idealogical opponents. If the only way to make one’s argument is to vilify the other side, it’s time to rethink one’s position, or at least the way in which those positions are being presented. 

Pipe dream? Maybe, as it can be argued that the country has never recovered from the stark divisions that arose during the Vietnam War, which finally came to its conclusion in 1975 after too many years of conflict. Or from the Civil War, 1861 to 1865, as its repercussions are entrenched in our society and resurface again and again. Or even from our nation’s beginnings in 1776, and the Revolutionary War, with an awareness that all our Founders did not necessarily hold one another in the same esteem that most of us hold them all today.

With political thought and discourse, especially in a diverse democracy, comes conflict and controversy. Americans should hope that eventually some of that conflict can come to resolution, and even compromise when necessary, in order for the country to be able to evolve and succeed. For that to happen, some of the common ground found in the aftermath of the shootings during baseball practice last week needs to be held close and valued, rather than being forgotten as meaningless.