In an age of social media and online blogs, having an opinion is easy and broadcasting it is even easier. There are now thousands of ways to get your news, and it's easy to tailor that news specifically to stories you may agree with.
In this continuing globalized world, it's all too easy to immerse yourself in circles of friends and news where you don't have to listen to and tolerate differing opinions. You can block and unfriend people on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and follow pages where you are likely to agree with the opinions being shared.
In fact, I would wager a guess that most of us, if not all of us, have unfriended or blocked someone because they just kept sharing their opinion, and in our eyes, it was wrong. I know I'm certainly guilty of that, but herein lies the problem.
See, when we censor our lives to specific views, ones we already agree with, we lose our understanding of the other side. All this does is turn political discussions into intense, rude debates where no one yields because they've learned nothing but supportive evidence for their side, and dissenting evidence for the other.
In reality, Republicans and Democrats agree on a lot. No seriously. Every year both chambers of Congress pass thousands of bills and most of them are unanimous or near unanimous. It's only on the big ticket items, like immigration or national security, that those views begin to differ.
And fun fact, they don't really differ on the desired outcome all that much either. Republicans and Democrats both want a strong economy, a safe nation, and equal opportunities for everyone. The differences lie in how we achieve those goals that we strive for as a nation.
By isolating ourselves away from differing viewpoints, we lose our diversity of thought and our tolerance for others. What we end up with is places like U.C. Berkley, a university where students riot every time a conservative speaker comes to campus. Their quarrel isn't with the speaker, it's always with the values of the speaker because it differs from the views they surround themselves with every day.
This isn't just a Democrat or Republican issue either, it's both sides and everybody. We should never sacrifice our friendships and families to politics just because we disagree. In fact, embrace those differences, because there are a lot of people in this world that wish they could openly express their opinions.
Make your voice heard, and be a champion for change, but remember, just don't unfollow people simply because you disagree with them.