Respect, understand political differences

Rebekah De Priest, Managing Editor

If you support President Trump’s impeachment, then you are a moron. If you do not, you are stupid. If you are not an ally to the LGBT+ community, you are ignorant. If you do support them, you are a jerk. If you support gun control, then you are an imbecile. If you oppose gun control, you are insensitive.

It appears society has come to think our opposing opinions are the problem, when it’s really a lack of education and acceptance of differing views and opinions. Rather than tearing others down for thinking differently, we need to focus on the reasoning behind contrasting ideas and learn how to respect that while engaging in positive political discourse when appropriate.

Admittedly, from the time the United States was established, there has been political conflict between parties. It can be seen throughout the history of our country at the time of the first colonies, to the Era of Succession during the Civil War, and even into today’s society.

“Our country was born in political conflict, and I think it can be a good thing,” Chris Tholl, government teacher, said. “I think today’s politics have just gotten to the point where it seems like it’s a little more outwardly nasty because of the media coverage of it.”

Though political disagreement has been around for quite some time, it is important that we as people act now. With the introduction of new laws, ideas, and technologies over time, we now face challenges that were not issues in the past.

Our society’s reliance on social media and extremely biased sources for news deliverance has aided in the gradual polarization of our political values. We tend to follow people with whom we have the same views, which leads to an endless cycle of information that only affirms what we believe. Consequently, we as a people have become one-sided and closed-minded when it comes to our opinions.

“Rather than having divergent views, you’ve just got blinders on the whole time,” Tholl said.

Our one-sided ways have had a negative impact on our daily lives, too. Rather than coming together through our political views, this part of our identity is more often used to tear each other down. This way of thinking has not only created but also builds walls between us.

“I think it creates a weird sense of disunity and hatred that doesn’t need to exist,” Tholl said.

One of the best ways for us to eliminate this feeling of division and negativity in our society is to teach ourselves properly and broaden our personal perspectives. It is important we know how to listen and understand opinions which differ from our own. It is also crucial that we properly inform younger generations of positive political discourse, and how to open our minds to others’ viewpoints.

When we begin to adjust our views and open our minds to listen, we will begin to see changes within our society. People will become much more accepting and understanding as we begin to widen our worldly perspectives. As this spreads, we will begin to see the beauty in our differences rather than making them a reason for hatred.