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Capitol Breach The Road to Riot

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol, in Washington, on Jan. 6. Right-wing extremism has previously mostly played out in isolated pockets of America or in smaller cities. In contrast, the deadly attack by rioters on the U.S. Capitol targeted the very heart of government. It brought together members of disparate groups, creating the opportunity for extremists to establish links with each other.

The United States of America has long been synonymous with freedom and equality. A strong sense of patriotism has been at the core for centuries, but when political parties begin to war, a civil unrest is bred. A civil unrest that is fueled by hate and fearmongering from both sides — hyperpartisanship is dangerous and leads to unmitigated disaster.

In all debate, it is important to go in with the mindset that you are not intrinsically correct. That every human has a margin of error and that for years doctors prescribed cigarettes (in other words, we all have our lapses in what will one day be deemed as correct ideology). When one or both parties involved enter a discussion believing wholeheartedly that their approach is infallible, it is not only dangerous but ignorant.

In human history, we have more than one occasion where we believed ourselves to be correct only to find that we were faulty in our assumptions. Who is to even deem what is correct? When it comes to political adversaries in the United States, apparently the deeming of correct ideology falls on whatever is the most aggressive argument made, whatever argument is the most enticing to get behind immediately instead of taking a step back to ponder the outcomes.

While having multiple opposing views is innate to our democracy, when civil rebuttal becomes a dangerous situation, it has gone too far. Are we not a country that engages in worded debate instead of rash actions against our fellow Americans? The biggest threat to America has started to become the increasing number of those who believe themselves to be unerring. Actions do speak louder than words, but when those actions harm your counterparts, it has become uncalled for. Just because one politician or political party has done something, it does not make it OK to do the same thing back. Just because another person took your toy on the playground, it does not make it right to do the same to them. We are dealing with an entire government of people claiming to be the “bigger person” in a hyperpartisan situation of their making.

Politicians are not exactly interested in being centripetal forces either. While our new Commander in Chief has done a great job stating that he strives for unity in America, there are still politicians who selfishly attack their opposing party to sew unrest in our country. Considering the sociology involved with mass thinking, it should come as no shock that when people are in groups of those with the same ideas and opinions, they believe themselves to be even more correct. If this entire group of people believes it, how could I be wrong? This type of complacency with group thinking is what contributes to the line drawn in the sand of politics. A group of people complacent with thinking that they are completely correct is a dangerous force.

Our first president warned against partisan fighting, and we have seen the warning’s implications come to a horrific fruition many times. As citizens of the United States of America, we must all learn to listen to others whether we agree or not. Changing an opinion that you hold is not shameful, but wonderful as you continue to broaden your horizons.

Change is needed — a positive change towards acceptance of different ways of viewing life. We all need to come together as those who disagree and agree, and that when it comes down to it, we are all Americans and, more importantly, all humans. Humans who must stabilize the state of the country in order to ensure its well being. A task that should not be taken lightly, but that should be approached with vigor and readiness from both rivaling political parties in our country. Mending the tear caused by hyperpartisanship is a job that will take a long time, but with many willing to hear an opinion differing from theirs, it is a feasible goal for Americans to work towards.