Speechless in Seattle

Besides providing an efficient means of travel in the big city, public transportation is also an effective barometer of cultural sentiment. Especially when it’s the hottest day on record and all the seats are taken. 

Sunshine in Seattle is cause to celebrate, but not when humanity is tightly packed and a rider loudly declares that we’d better get used to this because climate change is getting worse. As my friend sat on that humid bus, she glanced at the faces huddled too close for comfort and knew she was going to remain silent.

Someone old enough to know how to maintain peace decided instead to share that “global warming” was a bunch of left-wing b******* and no one could prove otherwise.

Well that set off the climate change commenter. Shaking his head in disgust he called the older man a f****** idiot and agreed with Al Gore that climate change dissenters deserved to be in jail. My friend wondered if either one would exit soon.

The older global warming dissenter pointed to a collective group of young urbanites and said they were all probably a bunch of Bernie Sanders supporters. 

That got some cheers. Now everyone was listening. My friend noted that this was probably how all those Trump riots got started.

The young urbanites shouted their well-rehearsed Bernie ideology. The older man angrily said his taxes helped pay for the education that turned them into socialists. 

As abusive comments hurled back an forth, the bus didn’t get any cooler, nor was anyone winning. Here's why: freedom of speech has become the freedom to shout insults. 

And this election is reflecting an insulting shift in our culture. Look how our presidential candidates treat one another. No wonder we can cuss at strangers on the bus. My friend wanted to share her opinions, but remained speechless, because no one respected anyone else. And no one seemed to care either.

Sadly, respect isn't valued as much anymore. Yet, America's greatness hinges on America's respect for one another. The election won't change anything if we aren't willing to make the changes we need in our own hearts.

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