Politics is always a hot-button issue, it always causes tension around dinner tables and over drinks but with the rise of social media, and the temperature of the political climate being akin to global warming (Climate Change is real folks) political debates are everywhere.
Most people I know get into a form of political debate - be it about immigration, the president, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, the environment, or healthcare - on a nearly weekly basis. Personally, I pride myself on being a part of a lively political debate multiple times weekly, not because I am a contrarian, but because I think discourse is important. It is important to get our voices out there even if it is only on social media (or on our weekly political articles from which we receive hate mail).
When these debates get heated, tough, gritty, down to the wire and real, isn’t it easy to end a conversation with someone you don’t agree with by saying ‘agree to disagree’? Well stop it, because no, I don’t agree to disagree with you.
I don’t agree to disagree with you when it comes to sexism.
I don’t agree to disagree with you when it comes to science-based evidence.
I don’t agree to disagree with you when it comes to racism.
I don’t agree to disagree with you when it comes to human rights.
I don’t agree to disagree.
Agreeing to disagree is not a compromise, a compromise includes getting something done, giving something up in order to find common ground, but no common ground has been found when agreeing to disagree. The phrase has become a cop out, a way to avoid confronting something uncomfortable, a way for you to remain sexist, racist, science and human rights denying because you want ‘agree, to disagree’, because you don’t want to listen to me anymore.
The reality is that you aren’t ‘agreeing to disagree’ because you want to be kind, or because you’ve heard and value the other side and remain unmoved, it’s a dismissal, it’s you not wanting to listen anymore, it’s you not wanting to have to defend your opinions. Well you should have to defend your opinions, if you are willing to stand for what you believe in, willing to be vocal about it in the first place, then do it, stand for it, defend it, debate in favor of it, feel strongly about it because these things are important, politics are important, human rights are important, discourse is important.
Don’t agree to disagree.