by Alexander J. Frangie

America has been struggling with domestic and international affairs alike for several decades. If one were to ask me the biggest struggles of Americans today I would analyze the question carefully in my mind. Would it be having the second-largest carbon footprint in the world with a shockingly large number of the population who don’t believe in Global Warming? Would it be throwing itself into international affairs like Afghanistan without good reason as they did in Vietnam, without acknowledging Afghanistan’s notorious reputation for being the graveyard of Empires? When I think of three epidemics in US history, three major ones continue to be noted. Obesity: leading to high rates of cardiac arrest, and COVID 2021, and its new variants continue to destroy the economy and interrupt the lives of Americans. All of these are problems America continues to face but the root cause of all of them and our struggles is the ignorance of Americans.  

Living in what I would consider a rural and conservative community, I’ve always strived to break free from those chains. The past half-decade non-stop videos I’ve seen are of  Republicans who fail to answer simple questions and understand the opposition to the Republican party. For the most part, I felt a great number of videos had to be fake as no one could be so blindly ignorant to current events. Unfortunately, an experience in my own life has sent warning signals that America is and has been facing a wave of ignorants I label an epidemic affecting all generations.

In my high school government course, the discussion about the Electoral College, and the Alt-rights fight against our own liberties calling it a revolution against a political party that hadn’t been inaugurated and interrupting the people’s freedom to vote in their chosen elected officials. The conversation turned to how states have created laws to avoid voter fraud their only perceived theory of how a democrat could win against a man whom they honored by buildings golden statues and beliefs care about all their problems. The conversation turned to Georgia’s new voting laws that work only to suppress the votes of minorities throughout the state.

The First Amendment is a treasured freedom billion around the world don’t have and yet Americans abuse this luxury. Americans are windbags, those firmly on one side of the political spectrum blind to the cons of their spectrum and the pros of the other blindly assert themselves in conversations they have no purpose of being in and making comments that don’t make sense yet judgment is swiftly knocked down because these people always need to be right without the tools necessary to properly debate. The first amendment should only be used by those who respect it and have the maturity to wield yet this epidemic of ignorance abuses our most important freedoms. 

During this conversation, ignorance took over a soon to be adult who believed facts like the passing of Georgia’s voting laws, pure fiction depicting the right as the worst of the two political spectrums wounding his pride. Samuel Butler said, “the truest characters of ignorance are vanity, pride, and arrogance.” In this scenario, if the truth doesn’t support your argument the truth is rendered completely irrelevant. He told me I should research the law in its entirety even though he could simply type voting or Georgia into his search bar and one thousand results would come up.

The epidemic of arrogance is destroying the enjoyment and validity of political debate and it seems bringing Americans back together would be no easy task; however, there are ways to achieve that goal and thereby restoring America to a true democracy. Firstly, reframing the way we think of politics and the idea one side sees all. Americans need to see the importance of bipartisanship under a Republican economy, but while social reforms are at their worst, the Democrats are in the direct opposite stance. Neither acknowledges bipartisanship and the two-party system thereby needs to end with the introduction of a moderate party. 

Lastly, people must be able to adapt and take time away from their own political identity to discover and research other political viewpoints.  By doing this we would be able to understand both sides and be able to eliminate unfair political practices. When candidates are not independent they can lessen division by showing they can listen to others, form, and work with heterogeneous partnerships, and treat adversaries with respect. All qualities lacking in the presidential debates before the 2020 election. Ignorance is the biggest problem of America and its people. A balloon of arrogance from past success is quickly becoming bloated and is about to make a pop heard around the world putting both eyes and ears on us, threatening the veil of safety for many in America. Americans need to learn to break the barrier of the political unrest that seems to be our largest divider and acknowledge all of our differences and respect them. We need to combat ignorance, end the two-party system in America ending the source of ignorance as the differences between the two are night and day. This must happen to end political unrest and expressions of hate and violence. Americans need to be educated or educate themselves in-depth about other political views.