I was discussing with a friend what we listen to when we are driving. We were planning a prolonged road trip, and I was talking about music. He said that he listens to NPR as it is non controversial. I surprised myself by involuntary blurting out “But they advocate violence”. My friend was equally surprised by my reaction. I quickly composed myself and exited the conversation by saying “Wait Wait, don’t tell me”.
I do not talk politics unless someone else brings it up. With my views it keeps me safer. Because I have carried a Trump sign I have experienced multiple occasions of political violence. Plus many more occasions of political hate. I have listened to an editorializing NPR advocate for people to protest candidate Trump. Then somewhat unbelievably NPR also advocated that people should exceed their personal moral limits of restraint while protesting. This lack of restraint was justified because of the absolute moral righteousness of stopping Trump and his supporters. Personally I interpret that as an advocacy of violence. Violence against people like me.
After the conversation I realized that hate has become normalized in political media. When the advocacy of violence by media is considered normal, it because hate has become normalized. I then thought of the many political conversations I have had where the word hate is used as a descriptor. The word hate is used by otherwise normal people in their description of politicians and policies. Myself, I simply disagree, or have an opposing opinion.
Thankfully during the prolonged road trip we did not listen to the radio, we engaged in conversation. Nobody brought up politics, but the conversation was good. For an epilogue to this piece, I consider my involvement in politics as a bit of a social experiment. In the beginning I believed that Donald J Trump would be the next president. So I picked up his sign to see what would happen. This blog is about my experiences.