Political relations are at an all-time high. Political parties are now more divided than ever, and there doesn’t seem to be a solution for consensus. The reason for this deep-rooted divide is that rather than having an adult conversation about political beliefs, we’d rather plaster people’s Facebook walls with political posts.
Here are some helpful Rules we could follow when discussing politics:
1. Talk and Listen
One of the worst thing about talking to people about politics is that we are quick to talk and slow to listen. We get so caught up talking at people rather than talking to people that we don’t take the time to truly listen to others. Rather than actively listening to other people’s beliefs respectfully, we close our ears to any ideology that doesn’t match our own. Part of having a conversation means that we have to close our mouth and listen to the other side.
2. Don’t Judge
Just because you’re a conservative doesn’t make you a homophobic, racist white male. If you voted for Trump, that doesn’t mean that you agree with all of the statements that he has made. Just because you’re a democrat doesn’t make you an anti-capitalist, pro-choice governmentalist. If you voted for Hilary, that also doesn’t mean that you are 100% behind every word that has come out of her mouth. We hate what the candidate stands for, but instead we unfairly translate that hate to those who voted for them. Everyone has the right to voice their own beliefs and just because a person chooses to vote in a certain way does not mean that you can stereotype them by putting them into a box.
3. Accept differences
One thing we seem to forget is the importance of context. People are raised in different cultural contexts which makes them see things in a different way. I’m not making an excuse for being ignorant, but what I am saying is that where you grow up changes the way that you see the world. Think about it - would you have the same political beliefs if you were born in the country vs. the city or in the south vs. the north. We hate other people’s beliefs without trying to understand why they think the way they do.
4. Agree to disagree
I think sometimes we get too focused on trying to change the wrong types of people. The truth is that when it comes to politics, the majority of people are set in their ways. There are those who political beliefs are directly opposite to our and that’s the beauty of a democracy. Don’t be ignorant, do your research on both sides of the argument and learn how to defend that you believe. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and sometimes we have to set differences aside and agree to disagree.
5. Move on
The election has now concluded. Emotions are high in this current political atmosphere. We can either choose to be stand divided or we can begin to have proactive conversations. We can’t go through life surrounded only by people who are sympathetic to our beliefs. Each and every one of us has to learn how to express our own beliefs in a way that is respectful. Be strong in your beliefs, but don’t forget to be kind in your responses.
Our country is not and never has been defined by the individual beliefs of our leaders. We, the people, get to decide what we stand for and what we believe in. Rather than letting this election season spread hate among us, let’s take this opportunity to learn how to love each other well.