KATIE ZERR: Do we really hear what is being said?


One wonders how this great nation has become such a divided and contentious country with no room for compromise and only two manners of thought: conservative and liberal.

Is it really so or are we hearing and seeing only the worst of the worst?

In normal conversations do people say to one another “You are an idiot and if you don’t have the same ideals and morals that I do, you don’t have a right to a voice in our government?”

That is what one would think while watching the 24-hour news channels or listening to candidates running for office.

Is “Our way or the highway,” really that prevalent in our country or do they purposely stir up the division to remain powerful and relevant?

One would think that if a person is not a conservative, they are a lazy, entitlement-leeching, drug-prattled indigent that spends their government check on pot and handguns. The guns of course are for shooting other indigents who would covet their pot or their women.

Is this really how conservatives think or are they portrayed that way by liberal pundits?

And are all those who don’t have their lives anchored in conservative beliefs really rose-glass wearing liberals who think throwing money at problem is the only way of fixing something that is broken? Are those who are not conservative really unproductive and looking for handouts to survive? Or is this the manner in which they are being portrayed to keep money rolling into conservative coffers?

Those people who hang on every word of liberal or conservative pundits, telling them who should be hated and who is the enemy, are not giving themselves the opportunity to think on their own.

Are we really just sheep following these shepherds of the airwaves? Are we really so brain dead that we need to have someone constantly reminding us those who are not of the same mindset are ignorant and will take this country right into the toilet?

How can those who have little regard for the truth or the divisiveness of their rhetoric have so many people hanging on their every word?

Some of opinions expressed through the media or the Internet do not hide their disrespect, their disdain and their dislike for those who do not look like them, follow the same religious or political beliefs and do not have the same lifestyles. Some are borderline hateful and racist; other are just openly hateful and racist.

There are religious leaders preach who hate and intolerance and brand it as Christianity. We have let our distrust of others who don’t look or act like we do become the target of that hate and intolerance.

It is so contradictory to the teaching of the Christ. He embraced the prostitute when others would stone her. He served the unfortunate and brought them comfort. He told his followers to help the poor and feed the hungry.

Does that sound like what we are hearing from those in the media or from some pulpits across the country?

The generalizations used to label anyone who needs a hand up as someone who believes they are entitled to hard-working American’s tax dollars are harmful and hateful.

Are there those who abuse the help that is offered? Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean anyone who looks for help should viewed as a leech.

It is also harmful to view anyone who is wealthy or who is portrayed as “privileged” to be an enemy of the middle class and those below the poverty line.

The “One Percenters,” as they have been labeled, are not all like the Koch brothers. Many share their knowledge and experience with those who need help in succeeding in life. Many have started foundations or scholarships in order to aid those less fortunate to achieve success in this world.

Yet if we are to believe what some are saying, the wealthy are heartless demigods who would rather spit on the less fortunate and black out the windows of their limos so they don’t have to look at the real world.

This type of rhetoric from either side is harmful to the county.

Our nation was built on the diversity of ideas. Our ancestors came here to get away from those trying to rule the manner in which they thought, acted and worshipped their God.

Are we throwing that all away in order to allow a handful of people to run our government?

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