It’s no secret that politics today is incredibly divisive, but the amount of divisiveness and hatred boiling between party lines is possibly some of the worst I’ve ever seen.
There are two recent incidents that I think illustrate this well.
Donald Trump’s son Eric recently made http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/eric-trump-slams-democrats-they-are-not-even-people/article/2625171 headlines when he said of Democrats, “They are not even people” in an interview.
A member of the Seattle City Council http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/in-seattle-is-it-now-taboo-to-be-friends-with-a-republican/ also recently made headlines when she said, “I don’t have any Republican friends,” which received cheers from an audience.
Both of these instances are saddening and illustrate huge polorization in our nation’s political landscape. Americans shouldn’t think of members of the opposite political party as inhuman, and they also shouldn’t proudly determine to only make friends with people with the same political leanings.
Just because someone believes something differently than you does not mean that person isn’t human or that you should avoid him. That’s what happens in a dictatorship or somewhere like the Soviet Union. One of the beautiful things about America is that we have freedom of speech, and are able to believe what we want and speak to whomever we want about whatever we want.
I could write an article all on its own about how important dialogue and listening to and interacting with people who have different viewpoints is. That’s how you learn and grow stronger in what you believe. Unfortunately, many colleges don’t seem to understand this concept either, as recent protests at UC Berkeley show.
Millions of people have died to give you the right to completely disagree with someone politically. Both of the incidents mentioned at the beginning of this article seem like a slap in the face to those people who died so that you can realize that Democrats are humans or that you can be friends with Republicans.
I can’t tell you how exactly to stop this deep political division, but I think that opening your mind and trying to intentionally befriend people who have opposing beliefs is a start. Have civil conversations about important topics affecting our nation, and listen to other people’s opinions. By doing this, you’ll make more friends (and who doesn’t want to make new friends?) and learn to see the world a different way.
Then hopefully we can move past the polarization that seems to be preventing anything productive from happening in America and truly bring about the change this country needs.