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Remember in the 90s to early 2010s when a liberal and conservative could actually date, maybe even marry and go on to live a happy life? That was an actual thing. People could have varying political views and still come together in other areas successfully. There was an almost calm before the storm, so to speak.
Fast forward to 2016. That was the year Donald Trump, who seemed like a joke candidate to the majority of us, was elected the 45th President of the United States of America. It was like someone had shifted to an alternate reality. Husbands and wives began to fight over policies, practices, and to break it down to the most archaic levels, right or wrong. That was the year the "Conservative" party morphed into something much less about God and family values, and became about melanin, money, and guns. Those left in the wake of this shift are still dizzy from the realization that the world had changed to something it would never go back from. The “Liberals” became the family values, morals, honest party. I know, it sounds like something from a future history book, like when Abraham Lincoln's actions to free slaves shifted the early party lines. For those of you who don’t know, the Democrats used to be the Republicans, and vice versa.
The simple act of love and dating became more difficult. First you began hearing Conservatives complain about not getting dates, then the first question to ask any potential partner was, “what is your political affiliation?” That one question, which was now so very relevant would make or break any potential love interest. It was "the" new deal breaker.
We went from co-existing to division in less than a decade. All of those stories you heard in history class about the Civil War and acts of genocide, that we as young people saw as products of inferior populations, began to be a "This could actually happen." We saw the shift before our very own eyes as thousands of children were publicly ripped from their parent’s arms to "deter future border crossing," as human rights were stripped away and it became acceptable to look at human beings as animals by some. We saw it as the protections were stripped away bit by bit. First it was the Brown people, then it was the gays, then women. It was playing out like the Handmaids Tale flashback sequence in front of our eyes, and we began to divide into factions; those who were not okay with it, and those who were.
Speaking of dystopian horror flicks, we began to see nuances of 1984 in the attack on the free press. "Fake News" coined by the current administration as a tool to slip this and that through without a fuss from the masses. The real stories were buried in doubt just enough to have the Big Brother reality show, watching population subdued, and to fuel even more division. Things didn’t seem real anymore.
You had the people who could see and the people who were blind. In my little part of the world, the ones who couldn’t see reality were the same who would us the “N” word, confuse Muslims with ISIS, and most likely to view women as property. They were the bullies, the uneducated, the ones who were too stupid to realize that after the attack on the disenfranchised was complete, we were all fair game. They were next.
It became a time you are actually a little bit scared to date. You stuck with someone a little longer you knew for fear of who may be next. Let’s be honest, that time when people from two political backgrounds could co-exist and even end up together with a little healthy discussion and banter was over. The world was now divided in two. The people who were okay with things, and those of us who were not. The parties have nothing to do but break, which may be a good thing. It could also be a good thing that we are now able to more align with those like ourselves when pairing, and that we are now aware of the true mindsets of those around us. The closeted racists, bigots, and misogynists are exposed. The ones who would destroy all civil liberties to preserve systemic racism. The women who hate other women were exposed. The blissfully ignorant and dangerous now had a flashing neon sign around them, a warning label.
This was a very hostile time to be single. This was a time when single seems a better option than accidentally dating the wrong person. This was the reality.