I only recently became invested in politics during the 2016 presidential election due to the realization that I would be old enough to vote, so I better educate myself on the inter-workings of our government. Since then, I've become a passionate democrat who often engages in political conversations, fighting against Trump and dedicating my time to advocating for human rights whenever possible.
When Trump was elected, I cried. After my tears dried, I basically vowed to myself not to associate with people who voted for him. After all, what sane person could have possibly voted for such an obvious disgrace to our country?
As time passed, I found that I only surrounded myself with people who agreed with me on almost everything, so my political conversations were often just tangents of everyone complaining about the current administration. And although my friend group is still made up mostly of these people, who I share much more in common with than just political views, I've learned over the past several months that it's possible for me to be friends with republicans, and even Trump supporters, too.
The truth is, the heart of who someone is as a person is not defined by their political views. There is so much more to a human being than whether they are conservative or liberal. And even though someone's political views may strongly define them, it's crucial to understand why they believe what they believe before judging them for their opinions. We all come from different backgrounds and different places that have defined what we are passionate about and why we choose to fight for. those passions.
This, I believe, is the most important lesson I've learned during this divided time in our country. Realizing that true, lifelong friendship can exist despite political differences has made me conscious of the fact that until everyone in the country comes to this same realization, we will continue to remain divided. And, believe me when I say this, we cannot move forward or better ourselves if we're only listening to one side of the story.
Only by working together can we overcome the injustices that are holding our country back, so It's time for everyone to befriend those who have opposing political views from them.