When George Washington stepped down from the presidency in 1797, he warned the American people against political parties after he saw the effect they could have through Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson in his own cabinet.
I consider myself a moderate. I'm not a Democrat, I'm not a Republican, not liberal, nor conservative. I see some points from both parties that I find myself agreeing with, while at the same time I also find some views on each side as overzealous. I consider myself open-minded, while I can't help but think of my peers as close-minded because they yell so loud that they don't hear reason. Just as conservatives are so convinced they have the answers, they also do not want to hear what the other side has to say.
But I am constantly reminded of my difference of views in all of my classes. Sadly, it feels you have to pick one or the other, especially in a setting where it feels as though everyone is liberal and cannot see any views other than their own. Speakers who come to our school are more liberal and even many professors do too. I'm taking two classes right now, one is the Jewish American Experience and the other is the Arab American experience, and both can become very controversial and the second a hot button topic is brought up I feel like I am not allowed to participate because of the backlash I would receive if I voiced my opinions.
I side with planned parenthood, I don't take sides in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, I don't agree with the wall, I am not prejudiced. Even though I'm not necessarily a conservative, I do in fact lean a little more right. I do have many issues with Trump as president and his speeches, however, I don't quite view him as the monster many do.
I love our country.
No, our country is not perfect, it is bruised and damaged. But what an amazing blessing it is to be able to verbalize our issues with our government. In many other countries and even in the history of other countries, you do not have the right to an opinion that opposes your government, but we do. We can discuss our issues with the dominant discourse, we have the right to carry a firearm, own property, receive education, women don't have to depend on a man for survival.
I'm not writing this to complain, but I'm writing this to show that not everyone has to pick a side, and not everybody has already picked a side, so respect one another, change can only happen when people are open to hearing each other's views and compromising.