Middle Ground

David Hancock, Staff Writer

Dear Americans,

We finished Hamlet in class today, and it is confirmed: I am Hamlet. His problems are my problems (more or less), his flaws are my flaws, and his thoughts are my thoughts. Hamlet is pessimistic, optimistic, emotional, rational, brilliant, and naive all at the same time! He is a tragic character, meaning that he has one fatal flaw that causes his downfall, a flaw that I share with him. We have no middle ground.

Anything taken too far is bad, even if the thing being taken is good. Being nice is good, but being too nice is how you wander into a shady neighborhood to help the poor and wake up in a roadside ditch without your kidney. Being driven is good, but letting ambitions control you is how you lose yourself and those closest to you in your quest to the top. Having feelings is good, but taken too far and you become an obsessive wreck and end up feeling so much that it hurts you and those around you. Too much of anything is bad; moderation is the key, and it’s so simple! I mean, Goldilocks taught us that. Don’t be too hot. Don’t be too cold. Be just right.

Although the premise is simple, it’s application is hard. I realize that I can be too trusting, and I realize (as I’ve recently been told) that I’m the most emotional person ever. I just can’t help it! It’s part of me, it’s my fatal flaw. As my twin from a parallel universe, Anakin Skywalker, said, “I wish I could just wish away my feelings, but I can’t.” (Attack of the Clones) I let things affect me more than they should. I fall too hardly in and out of “love”, I get way too passionate during every debate I’ve been in, and I’m way too attached to The Walking Dead Characters (R.I.P. Beth). I realize this problem I have but am still helpless to change it, but at least I’m not the only one.

Not to be too political on my blog, but I have to say it: Political correctness is stupid. Well, at least to the extent we have it at today. I get being polite, that’s good — but when our friends, teachers, and politicians, our LEADERS are so afraid of offending someone that they avoid the issue all-together, there’s a problem! Just watch any debate. Politicians are so good at restating the same fake and polished speech they’ve said a hundred times but never actually answer the question! We get it, you’re going to make America great and make college free and unite the nation and your opponent is terrible, but can you please just tell us straight and ANSWER THE FLIPPING QUESTION!!! If the moderator ask if you will support your opponent if you lose, say “yes” or “no”, don’t go on some crazy tangent that has nothing to do with what was asked of you. To be honest Trump and Hilliary, I tune you out now. I don’t want to, I take our government and voting very seriously, but half the time I don’t even know what you’re talking about. It’s all become politics. Fake, polished, unreliable, and irrelevant politics.

Politicians are too concerned with being P.C. that they don’t ever address any issues directly, but look on the other hand at the people who think that they do address the real problems in America. Look at the protests. And I’m not naming names, all protest have this same problem: they have no real goal. Yeah, they have catchy slogans and lots of people joining in and it looks great and cool and freedom and whatever, but really what changes? Protesters are just like politicians, it’s just words. I mean of course, until the protest gets out of hand and innocent people get hurt and then whatever the protest was about loses all credibility because a rotten few ruined the whole bunch. Thanks for that, by the way. People who think it’s ok to loot and assault and murder during a protest, you really help make your cause seem noble. And to be clear, that was sarcasm, crime is crime no matter what group you’re a part of when you do it.

America has the same flaw that me, Hamlet, and Anakin Skywalker have: we have no middle ground. We’re either a fake politician who never addresses anything important or we’re an angry protester without a plan. And if you’re reading this and you’re not like this, good! I’m not trying to insult you, the normal and not insane majority of folks. I’m talking to the fakers, those who are all words and no action. Unfortunately, those who talk big are the face of our country. Our headlines belong to those who are too extreme, those who have no middle ground. To those people I say: I get it. I’m just like you actually, but we gotta have some moderation between political correctness and violent protests, between over emotionality and over rationality. Words won’t solve our problems our problems, only actions will. And to those who are level headed but still headstrong, who can speak up without yelling, who can address a problem without making it bigger: stay you, and shine brighter. Don’t let the few bad apples ruin the whole bunch. Don’t let insane protesters or placid politicians define how people view you. Let the world know that you are here and that you are good apples! Be the change you want to be in the world. Don’t let our fatal flaw cause the downfall of America. Don’t be Hamlet.

David Hancock