Political Etiquette 101: How Not To React To Differing Political Views
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Politics and Activism

Political Etiquette 101: How Not To React To Differing Political Views

The 2016 election has brought out the best in some, the worst in others.

Political Etiquette 101: How Not To React To Differing Political Views

Although any census and statistical evidence will show young adults are the least likely to utilize their new political right to vote, I am proud to say that many of my peers have shown interest in the 2016 election and have even become quite active in encouraging others to vote and sharing political content to create awareness. As one of the most potentially powerful voting demographic, we are making progress in political activism, but I believe in other political aspects we are assisting in the the halt and/or recession of social progress.

Through social observations, conversations with other politically active adults, and personal experience, I have noticed a terrifying trend in the world of the politically interested. While we as a society attempt to eradicate, and/or at least diminish the discrimination associated with race, gender or sexual preference, we have ignored, if not intensified the discrimination and stereotyping that accompanies one's political choices. Plastered on Facebook, YouTube comments, and all forms of social networking are offensive, ill-mannered and harassing commentary from one individual to another solely because of political differences. There are numerous reasons why this is a flawed societal habitat that needs to be abolished. Besides the Golden Rule, "Do unto others what you would have them do unto you," and simply being a civil person, I suggest three reasons as to why political discrimination and hatred based on solely one's political beliefs is poor political etiquette.

1. If one is mature enough to talk about politics, one is mature enough to do it in a respectable manner.

Name-calling and bullying would result in an elementary school student flipping his or her card, parent-teacher conferences, and other forms on punishment. Hate-mail and bullying in middle school and high school are no longer something we brush off in society, but something we take quite seriously with campaigns, movies and informative meetings in regards to bullying. We as a society have made it vital for individuals to know the consequences of bullying and have taken action to prevent and eliminate bullying. Bullying is unacceptable in our school systems where children and teenagers reside.

If we expect children and teenagers to be mature and responsible enough to consider the feelings of others and respect them, then why are adults not expecting the same from themselves? We are the enforcers of rules and laws, we are the ones who create social norms and we are the role models for the next generation. With such responsibilities, we should not only live up to the exceptions we hold children and teenagers to, but exceed them. We, as a society, can do better than being bullies

2. Name-calling, harassment and offensive terms are inefficient and counterproductive

If it wasn't convincing enough that we should resist and end hateful and ill-mannered terms and actions from our political disagreements because we expect such maturity and respect from children, maybe the lack of efficiency in one's argument might be. In all reality, calling someone a "stupid bigot," "racist-bastard," "pussy-footed liberal," or really any derogatory term due to their political loyalties is simply a waste of time.

Put yourself in their shoes, if someone were to harass you about your political thoughts and choices would you A) support their political beliefs and eventually vote for their chosen candidate or B) be reassured in your own beliefs and continue to support your original candidate, especially in spite of your harasser. The latter seems the more logical and common response to political persecution.

In reality, using offensive terms and harassment to attack those whom politically disagree with you is only pissing someone off, portraying yourself as uncivil and not politically educated, and most likely making it more difficult for your candidate of choice to win by giving the opposing candidate(s) supporters more incentive to vote for them. Political debates and arguments can be fun and interesting to many (including myself), but it can be done without intentionally disrespecting others and possibly worsening one's political candidate's chances. We, as a society, can do better than name calling.

Are we being a hypocrites?

The entire G.O.P (Grand Old Party) is under scrutiny for pretty much turning into an episode of "Yo Momma" in which they have freely made fun of each other with no real filter. Marco Rubio might make fun of Donald Trump's skin complexion stating that Donald Trump "doesn't sweat because his pores are clogged from spray tan," and that, "Donald Trump isn't gonna make America great, he's gonna make America orange." While Donald Trump just makes fun of everyone all the time like when he talked about Marco Rubio's sweating or Carly Fiorina's appearance.

Many find it embarrassing that our current and future leaders would act in such a manner, yet it is sad to realize that they are a much more civil representation of how our society acts.We are no better than these individuals when we have hateful comments, death threats and/or racist and sexist comments on YouTube videos and pictures or even when we call someone "stupid" or "idiot" because they support another candidate. So many see Donald Trump to be a bully, and that political figures in general are falling into this category more and more, yet our society has individual after individual whom act in a similar manner. We as a society can do better than being hypocrites.

We are attempting to eradicate various discrimination from society and ultimately create a world of equality where individuals respect one another. But we would not be doing this effort justice by pretending that discrimination due to political opinions does not exist.The harassment doesn't just end at politics; in many cases it brings up other forms of discrimination including, but not limited to racism, sexism and sexual orientation discrimination. By helping to end such radical behavior in politics, it would benefit the movement to end various forms of discrimination, and possibly create a future where we actually discuss politics in a mature productive manner rather than bash each other with no real results.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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