Last week, packages containing what the media reported were “suspicious devices” were sent to the homes or offices of multiple prominent Democrats. Everyone from the Clintons and the Obamas to Robert de Niro were targeted. A package was also delivered to the New York offices of CNN. I actually turned on CNN as this was unfolding. It was an hour or so after the New York offices had been evacuated (while on air, no less), and Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper had taken things over in Washington, D.C. Even so, CNN anchors in New York continued to report using their cell phones and the limited cameras they did have. It was, quite honestly, an incredible display of professionalism.
But this isn’t about being professional, or doing your job when it turns out there was a live explosive device sitting in your mailroom. This is about much more than that. This is about the climate that has been created in our country and society because of what is happening in the sphere of politics.
Not long after all of this happened, the NYPD held a press conference along with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (who got a package himself). The journalists gathered at the briefing wasted no time in bringing up the question that was on everyone’s minds, and that seemed to be implied in the words of the media as they reported on the story, commentators as they shared their thoughts on social media, and even Hillary Clinton as she gave a speech in Miami: Was this happening because of the political rhetoric in our country? I believe Mayor de Blasio put it best when he said, “You can disagree, but you have to show respect for people and air your disagreements peacefully.”
“Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
– Psalm 133:1
Louisiana Congressional Representative Steve Scalise, who was gravely wounded in a shooting at a practice for the annual Congressional baseball game last year, was quick to share his own opinion, built on his experiences, on Twitter: “These attempted attacks that have been made are beyond criminal, they are acts of pure terror. Violence and terror have no place in our politics or anywhere else in our society. I have experienced first-hand the effects of political violence, and am committed to speaking out against it wherever I can.”
I politically identify as an independent. I do not feel as though I belong to either party. Rather, I feel like a bystander who watches both with interest. So, what I’m about to say may make you upset; I hope it doesn’t. But, I do hope it makes you feel something. This is not okay. It’s not okay to have politicians who call out the opposing party, or candidates running for office who threaten physical harm against those running against them. None of this is okay.
“If there’s breath inside your lungs / You are my brother”
– “For Those Who Can’t Speak” by Tenth Avenue North
There has been a lot of discussion that change needs to come “from the top down.” But why? Why wait for that? Because if we do wait, it’s going to be a while. What if we, the people, started to make the change? What if we didn’t let things like who we vote for, or how we feel about immigration, divide us? The scriptures, and Jesus Christ Himself, made it very clear that we are not meant to be divided; we are meant to live in unity, without contention. I firmly believe that division is a tool used by Satan to breed hatred and fear – to take us farther from how we are meant to live as God’s children, as brothers and sisters.
So, hi. My name is Mary-Faith. I’m an independent. Sometimes I agree with Republicans, sometimes I agree with Democrats. I don’t really care who you agree with; we can be friends anyways.
“I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.”
– Doctrine & Covenants 38:27