OPINION: A Divided Country

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In 2004, when President Bush was elected for a second term, I sat on the couch in a run-down house where I lived with 5-6 other people and watched as the country decided that more of the same was what felt safe at the time. Of course, I felt disappointment, but since I couldn’t really identify with John Kerry, I took it in stride.

During that election cycle, Barack Obama emerged on my radar and I, like many young people, found him to be everything Bush wasn’t. I knew he would be president when I heard him speak. I didn’t know when, but I knew that would happen.

In 2008, when President Obama was elected for his first term, I sat on my friend’s couch and watched as the country changed forever.  I was a twenty-something college student during Bush’s second term and was heavily influenced by the worsening economy, liberal arts environment, and on-going war. Everything that I stood for went against this president’s agenda. Then, along came Barack Obama, who was charismatic, intelligent, organized, and who spoke to my generation.

At that moment, the divisions in this country got deeper. Subsequently, in 2012 when he was elected again, they worsened. Now, is it a coincidence that his election and the worsening division happened the exact year that social media became a “thing”? Maybe.

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#NeverAgain

While flipping through the major news outlets tonight, I stumbled upon an interview on MSNBC with two students from Parkland, Florida. I was immediately struck by these two young women and the message they are sending out into the world.

#NeverAgain is a movement born in Parkland as a response to the most recent school shootings to plague the United States. The students in Parkland have been very vocal since the shooting last week and are organizing a march in Washington, D.C.

This isn’t the first that I’d heard of these students, as a matter of fact, one of these young women tweeted the President last week and I was extremely impressed with her composure. This is, however, the first that I had heard that the students were organizing. How fantastic?!

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OPINION: Mass Shootings

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Earlier this week a 19-year-old child used a semi-automatic weapon to kill 17 people injuring a dozen more.

Unfortunately, as a 33-year-old woman, this type of news has become “normal” to me and as it is always sad, I’ve become extremely frustrated with the ongoing, cyclical rhetoric surrounding the issue. While waiting for my car’s oil change this morning, I scrolled through Facebook and immediately regretted it.

My newsfeed, like many of yours, is filled with snark and sarcasm instead of debate, ideas, and answers. What baffles me is that everyone seems to be so passionate when these incidents happen, but quickly we forget, we move on, and we just begin to complain about the weather and post videos of people cooking things in crock-pots again.

One of the reasons this blog is important to me is because I got tired of sitting on the sidelines and watching the degradation of our culture and communication. We’ve replaced action with passive aggressive comments, whit with sarcasm, common sense with ignorance, compassion with heart emojis.

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