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Op-Ed: I am an 18-year-old White Male in America

What took place in both of these events is tragic. It is a tragedy that 31 people will never have the opportunity to continue living and growing, but also tragic that we live in a society where two people, hardly grown past their childhood, felt compelled to perpetrate these crimes.

Alisher Aminov

This article is an opinion piece. The article below is entirely from my perspective.

Over the past two weeks, at least 31 Americans were shot dead in two mass shooting incidents.

What took place in both of these events is tragic. It is a tragedy that 31 people will never have the opportunity to continue living and growing, but also tragic that we live in a society where two people, hardly grown past their childhood, felt compelled to perpetrate these crimes.

The events that took place may consume the media cycle for a week, two weeks, three weeks, or maybe even a month or two; however, such as is the case in virtually every past mass murder like these, millions will cry out, but nothing will be done.

The reality of tragedies such as these is that almost simultaneously, they become political bargaining chips to be used to gain and garner additional support and leverage power, not to take action or solve issues.

I wish I could say that I believe these cases will lead the United States of America in a new direction. I wish events like these would give political leaders the dose of reality they need to fight for positive growth and change.

Unfortunately, I do not see either of the political parties we have doing anything more than using these events to continue their perpetual blame game.

As an 18-year-old white male in the United States, I cannot help but feel a combination of frustration and hopelessness.

Unfortunately, I am faced with the reality that I live in a nation where people my age are pushed to the point of wanting to and committing violent crimes against their fellow Americans – not because they are genocidal psychopaths, but because they feel a sense of profound hopelessness which, at the very least, is perpetuated by partisan hackery that seeks to do nothing but divide.

I live in a society where I have been exposed to a political culture hell-bent and fixated on power from the time I was born.

I live in a society where Democrats seem to have abandoned the notion of national pride and appear to have developed an apologetic culture of fixating on the negative while seemingly forgetting the positive things that our nation has done, so focused on their own “intellectual” superiority that the only form of diversity they don’t seem to care about is the diversity of understanding.

I live in a society where Republicans have effectively managed to develop the notion that if you are not a Republican, you are an individual without moral character or backbone who is actively seeking to destroy our country through the implementation of freedom restricting laws that strip away rights “core” to the founding of our nation.

Daily, I am exposed to party dynamics that seem to focus more on complaining about the “other” side while doing little to nothing to get things done.

From my perspective, we have found ourselves trapped in the never-ending loop of finding creative ways to complain without ever inspiring hope or accomplishing items that improve people’s lives.

What troubles me the most is if this is how our society has made me feel, I can only imagine what it is doing to the millions of young adults across our nation.

The younger generation in the United States has never had the opportunity to live in a country with the fastest economic development in the world. The younger generation does not know what it feels like to live in a country that is not trillions of dollars of debt, that is not torn apart by factionalism, that is not ripping itself apart and weakening its identity every day.

As a byproduct of years of party-fueled complaining, we now live in a world where the youth tasked with leading us forward have never known a life fueled by the notion of an American Dream.

Considering that so many Senators and Representatives in our nation are skilled lawyers, it is fascinating to see them claim that if they can’t accomplish something the most straightforward way, there is no way of achieving it.

Long gone are the days of legislators fueled by the competitive urge and desire to fight for what they believe in, beyond just screaming about it.

I am shocked as I watch Senators and Representatives rally towards the scenes of horrific tragedies only to get a 15-second video clip of them blaming the other side for allowing this to happen.

What happened to the party of getting things done?

Democratic legislators – if in the current era of the United States, Republican representatives and Republican voters refuse to surrender a single inch where gun regulations are concerned, then why do you not challenge party heads to televised debates?

Why do you not focus on passing mental health legislation elsewhere to help our youth grow?

Why don’t you focus on educating the population on your point of view?

Why don’t you focus on repairing the faltering reputation that your party has in the eyes of millions in our nation?

Republican legislators – if your current proposals for gun safety are not protecting American citizens, what are you doing to empower local governments with the support they need to address these issues themselves?

What are you doing to expand gun safety through independent initiatives?

Why are you not challenging your opposition to televised debates?

Why are you not focusing on educating your constituency and repairing your own faltering reputations in the eyes of millions in our nation?

Why do I live in a society where all I am exposed to are elected officials who tell me about the problems and declare they will be the ones to solve them without ever seeming to work hard to solve anything?

Is it because if politicians got things done, no one would care to hear them talk about getting those things done?

Is the current political establishment so fearful of becoming obsolete that it feels the need to perpetuate chaos within our nation and disenfranchise the hearts of our future?

Why do I live in a society where the current Republican minority leader of the Senate (Mitch McConnel) has openly said that he would support his party’s nomination for president regardless of their moral character or quality, going as far as to suggest that his allegiance is to his party, not his country?

Why do I live in a country where Democratic senator Chris Murphy used this most recent incident of gun violence to blame his republican colleagues, going as far as to say that mental health is not the cause of violence in our country and that America has no more significant mental health issue than any other country in the world?

Do we ever stop to consider that perhaps our own political extremism is the cause of the mental health crisis we are experiencing throughout the nation?

Democratic voters, why do you think complaining about Republicans on social media will solve anything except further divide?

Republican voters, why do you think calling Democrats immoral is going to solve anything except further divide?

As Americans, we live in a society that has been fueled by regular, ordinary people who fought for what they believed in for more than two centuries. So if people are genuinely concerned with political division, get out and volunteer, talk with your neighbors and build bridges between one another.

Is having open conversations or vigorous debates so terrifying?

I look back on history to times when political figures used the power of their words not to create division but to rally the nation’s strength.

I see Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a Democrat, who made Americans believe in themselves when America was at its lowest economically. I read on as he inspired people to be proud of who they were and encouraged them to see the possibilities of the future rather than the sorrows of the present.

I see Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, who risked everything to restore the soul of our nation. Who not only ultimately cleared the way for equality to be expanded but also looked onto a defeated South with compassion and empathy.

I am an 18-year-old white male in America. Despite everything thrown at my generation, I am proud to be who I am, and I believe that we can accomplish great things as a nation.

It guts me to know that while I have been able to find hope, so many of my peers feel hopeless. But unfortunately, people in places of power seem to ignore this truth and the reality that this is a precursor of the future to come.

The two mass shooters who committed heinous crimes of the last week could have been my classmate, friend, neighbor, or sibling. Is this the best Americans can offer?

This article is an opinion piece. The article below is entirely from my perspective.

Over the past two weeks, at least 31 Americans were shot dead in two mass shooting incidents.

What took place in both of these events is tragic. It is a tragedy that 31 people will never have the opportunity to continue living and growing, but also tragic that we live in a society where two people, hardly grown past their childhood, felt compelled to perpetrate these crimes.

The events that took place may consume the media cycle for a week, two weeks, three weeks, or maybe even a month or two; however, such as is the case in virtually every past mass murder like these, millions will cry out, but nothing will be done.

The reality of tragedies such as these is that almost simultaneously, they become political bargaining chips to be used to gain and garner additional support and leverage power, not to take action or solve issues.

I wish I could say that I believe these cases will lead the United States of America in a new direction. I wish events like these would give political leaders the dose of reality they need to fight for positive growth and change.

Unfortunately, I do not see either of the political parties we have doing anything more than using these events to continue their perpetual blame game.

As an 18-year-old white male in the United States, I cannot help but feel a combination of frustration and hopelessness.

Unfortunately, I am faced with the reality that I live in a nation where people my age are pushed to the point of wanting to and committing violent crimes against their fellow Americans – not because they are genocidal psychopaths, but because they feel a sense of profound hopelessness which, at the very least, is perpetuated by partisan hackery that seeks to do nothing but divide.

I live in a society where I have been exposed to a political culture hell-bent and fixated on power from the time I was born.

I live in a society where Democrats seem to have abandoned the notion of national pride and appear to have developed an apologetic culture of fixating on the negative while seemingly forgetting the positive things that our nation has done, so focused on their own “intellectual” superiority that the only form of diversity they don’t seem to care about is the diversity of understanding.

I live in a society where Republicans have effectively managed to develop the notion that if you are not a Republican, you are an individual without moral character or backbone who is actively seeking to destroy our country through the implementation of freedom restricting laws that strip away rights “core” to the founding of our nation.

Daily, I am exposed to party dynamics that seem to focus more on complaining about the “other” side while doing little to nothing to get things done.

From my perspective, we have found ourselves trapped in the never-ending loop of finding creative ways to complain without ever inspiring hope or accomplishing items that improve people’s lives.

What troubles me the most is if this is how our society has made me feel, I can only imagine what it is doing to the millions of young adults across our nation.

The younger generation in the United States has never had the opportunity to live in a country with the fastest economic development in the world. The younger generation does not know what it feels like to live in a country that is not trillions of dollars of debt, that is not torn apart by factionalism, that is not ripping itself apart and weakening its identity every day.

As a byproduct of years of party-fueled complaining, we now live in a world where the youth tasked with leading us forward have never known a life fueled by the notion of an American Dream.

Considering that so many Senators and Representatives in our nation are skilled lawyers, it is fascinating to see them claim that if they can’t accomplish something the most straightforward way, there is no way of achieving it.

Long gone are the days of legislators fueled by the competitive urge and desire to fight for what they believe in, beyond just screaming about it.

I am shocked as I watch Senators and Representatives rally towards the scenes of horrific tragedies only to get a 15-second video clip of them blaming the other side for allowing this to happen.

What happened to the party of getting things done?

Democratic legislators – if in the current era of the United States, Republican representatives and Republican voters refuse to surrender a single inch where gun regulations are concerned, then why do you not challenge party heads to televised debates?

Why do you not focus on passing mental health legislation elsewhere to help our youth grow?

Why don’t you focus on educating the population on your point of view?

Why don’t you focus on repairing the faltering reputation that your party has in the eyes of millions in our nation?

Republican legislators – if your current proposals for gun safety are not protecting American citizens, what are you doing to empower local governments with the support they need to address these issues themselves?

What are you doing to expand gun safety through independent initiatives?

Why are you not challenging your opposition to televised debates?

Why are you not focusing on educating your constituency and repairing your own faltering reputations in the eyes of millions in our nation?

Why do I live in a society where all I am exposed to are elected officials who tell me about the problems and declare they will be the ones to solve them without ever seeming to work hard to solve anything?

Is it because if politicians got things done, no one would care to hear them talk about getting those things done?

Is the current political establishment so fearful of becoming obsolete that it feels the need to perpetuate chaos within our nation and disenfranchise the hearts of our future?

Why do I live in a society where the current Republican minority leader of the Senate (Mitch McConnel) has openly said that he would support his party’s nomination for president regardless of their moral character or quality, going as far as to suggest that his allegiance is to his party, not his country?

Why do I live in a country where Democratic senator Chris Murphy used this most recent incident of gun violence to blame his republican colleagues, going as far as to say that mental health is not the cause of violence in our country and that America has no more significant mental health issue than any other country in the world?

Do we ever stop to consider that perhaps our own political extremism is the cause of the mental health crisis we are experiencing throughout the nation?

Democratic voters, why do you think complaining about Republicans on social media will solve anything except further divide?

Republican voters, why do you think calling Democrats immoral is going to solve anything except further divide?

As Americans, we live in a society that has been fueled by regular, ordinary people who fought for what they believed in for more than two centuries. So if people are genuinely concerned with political division, get out and volunteer, talk with your neighbors and build bridges between one another.

Is having open conversations or vigorous debates so terrifying?

I look back on history to times when political figures used the power of their words not to create division but to rally the nation’s strength.

I see Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a Democrat, who made Americans believe in themselves when America was at its lowest economically. I read on as he inspired people to be proud of who they were and encouraged them to see the possibilities of the future rather than the sorrows of the present.

I see Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, who risked everything to restore the soul of our nation. Who not only ultimately cleared the way for equality to be expanded but also looked onto a defeated South with compassion and empathy.

I am an 18-year-old white male in America. Despite everything thrown at my generation, I am proud to be who I am, and I believe that we can accomplish great things as a nation.

It guts me to know that while I have been able to find hope, so many of my peers feel hopeless. But unfortunately, people in places of power seem to ignore this truth and the reality that this is a precursor of the future to come.

The two mass shooters who committed heinous crimes of the last week could have been my classmate, friend, neighbor, or sibling. Is this the best Americans can offer?

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