Have you lost a friend, relative or acquaintance to political differences? We have reached critical mass concerning tribal division in this country, to no one’s benefit.

Some reading this have lived long lives. When we were younger, 50 seemed ancient. Our present age offers a unique perspective to evaluate our past.

The past five or six years have been a time of chaos, tension and tribal division among people we know. Friendships have been destroyed, and families needlessly divided over political issues. Almost all of this has resulted from one man’s endless need for attention, adoration and power. The megalomania, fear, misinformation and manipulation has adversely affected us all.

False claims, both large and small, questionable and extreme, were a part of daily life, along with attacks on groups and individuals. Windmills cause cancer, drink bleach to clear the lungs. The Chinese Flu is a hoax. Everything is Fake News. Then came the largest untruth of all.

Claiming victory after losing the 2020 election by 7 million votes was The Big Lie. The election was stolen, it was said. If the margin was 70 million, the same would have happened. Why? The outcome was rejected by the loser because losing was intolerable.

Election officials from all sides agreed that the election was legitimate. No courts supported accusations of fraud and malfeasance. Although there will always be rare incidents of voter misconduct, the vast preponderance of evidence points to the election’s integrity. Despite this, a large majority of Republicans believe that the election was stolen, and cannot be persuaded otherwise.

We are progressively seeing the fallout from the Big Lie. There have been several Republican originated voter suppression laws introduced nationwide to restrict voting for the opposition. Try to imagine why. It is changing the rules in the middle of the game for no valid reason. For that reason, all future election results will be now questioned as possibly fraudulent. The whole point was to cast doubt all based on nothing except for invented accusations.

We have wasted too much time and energy buying into intentional division. And remember that it is intentional for no good purpose. Manipulators cast doubt so that nothing can be trusted. Social media platforms have been used to fan flames, making massive amounts of money.

Of course, we must fight injustice and evil, but should focus far more on the positive. What can we do? Reach out to those with whom there have been unnecessary raw feelings and heal our collective psychic wounds. We must individually return to generosity, basic decency and compassion. Remember that compassion is not weakness, but the exact opposite. We can do that in ways large and small.

Some humanitarian groups work for those who need help. We can involve ourselves in such organizations or do what we can in our own corner of the world to perform random acts of kindness and generosity, however small. We all remember when someone offers a kind word or deed to us. It can never be wrong.

We do not have time to waste.

Paul McCreary lives in Green Valley.

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