However, I have noticed a growing and anti-democratic trend that has been revealing itself through the 2016 US election process. Hatred, violence and the preference of personal choice over democracy seem to be growing from a source that the media portray as the most dedicated to human rights and individual dignity, the left. Bernie Sanders spoke of the injustice of financial inequality. It sounded good. But now I think that what I saw was just some of the same thinking that moved many ill-conceived revolutions. Anger at injustice can ironically lead to a downward spiral and worse levels of injustice if it is rooted in destructive impulses instead of positive ones. Self-righteous attitudes seem to correlate with abusive behavior. Wow, what a lesson for marriage!
Here are some examples of behavior that threatens the democratic system:
- Agitators were planted at Trump rallies: The Washington Post, ABC News
- Attacks on Trump voters: Vidmax, Vidmax, Metro
- Protests against the democratic process: NPR, New Hampshire Review, The Political Insider
- Paid protesters in general: The Washington Times, Fox News,
- Media Collusion to support Clinton: The Political Insider, Fox News
- To be fair, there are also stories about supporters of Trump engaging in hateful behavior: Independent. This is obviously just as disgusting.
So, what is happening? I think that the protests can be divided up as follows:
- People who are actually worried that this election will have a bad effect on the country and want to vent.
- People who are anarchists and see an opportunity.
- Opportunists who are paying for the upheaval.
It's the first group that I want to address in terms of their ability to sustain a marriage. I think that they form a huge part of the "real America". I am writing this post to derive lessons that can be of help to couples. I am not saying that leaning left or right affect your commitment to work at a marriage. In fact, there is an interesting piece on NPR that correlates blue states with lower rates of divorce and explains why that might be.
Getting back to the peaceful protesters. They are really worried about the direction that the US is taking. And, the greatness of America is rooted in its devotion to free speech. So, of course, they have a right to express themselves. But, if they are saying that the election results should not be respected, then they are undermining the very foundation of their freedom to express themselves. Anarchy leads to despots, to ruthless dictators.
Let’s extrapolate to marriage. Imagine that you have a couple who have fallen in love, married and are now facing a crisis. This is every marriage, by the way. (Of course, I am not talking about abusive situations, whether physically, emotionally or verbally abusive.) So, in this marriage, a lot of frustration has built up over the years.
If the foundation of the relationship is that you respect your commitment to be married and each other and you are willing to work things through, then:
- Your marriage cannot only survive a crisis, but...
- It may be strengthened as a result of overcoming it.
However, if the couple values immediate happiness and isn’t interested in putting in the work that a marriage depends on, then:
- The foundation of their commitment won't be respected,
- They will discard whatever is no longer considered useful,
- And they will opt out of the system and divorce.
It is vital to a marriage to remember that most problems are solvable. Two people will clash. How can they not? Their needs and desires will not always coincide.
That's part of the charm of marriage:
- You need to figure out how you respect your partner,
- Love your partner,
- Disagree with your partner and
- Come to a mutually agreeable resolution with your partner, your beloved.
This is also how you grow as a person. You give, you receive, you care, you love, your struggle, you grow together.
As an aside, I don't understand why people are so polarized. These are my guesses as to what may be going on.
- People consider Donald Trump to be anti-women or anti-diversity. He has said some terrible things. If the accusations against him are true, then his behavior was beyond horrible. But it’s difficult to know what news is reliable anymore. He has also elevated women to very high levels of responsibility. By contrast, the accusations against Hillary Clinton were worse. She supposedly tried to discredit the women her husband was accused of raping. And then, there is an ABC report of the 1975 case where Hillary Clinton defended a client accused of raping a 12-year-old girl. The incriminating evidence was lost. She was "heard laughing as she describes how she succeeded at getting her client a lighter sentence, despite suggesting she knew he was guilty." Listen to the audio at freebeacon. Furthermore, in terms of supporting diversity and human rights, Donald Trump came out in support of the LGBT community after the attack in Orlando.
- People accept whatever they hear from the media which has been proven to be far from objective.
- The same people who pay for agitation are trying to undermine the democratic process and well-intentioned individuals are being pulled into their scheme.
Every election pleases some people but displeases others. But, what is happening now? Is this new level of rejection of the system revealing that commitment to the underlying principles of democracy is too lightly held? Maybe these attitudes even correlate to the decrease in marriage rates. The nuclear family is no longer seen as the bedrock of society. Now, is everything a commodity to be used when you like and discarded when you are no longer in the mood?
If you are ready to abandon the democratic process because your wishes weren't fulfilled, I would suggest the following:
- Verify if your fears are founded on reality or if your opinion has been manipulated by a biased media.
- Consider your future and whether your fear of Trump is valid enough to jeopardize the continuation of the 240-year democracy.
Your marriage isn’t 240 years old. But it will have its periods of unrest. As a couple, you must decide if you are committed to the integrity of your marriage. If you are, your marriage holds a much greater chance of weathering the challenges and seeing you through your life.