If you live in the United States (or anywhere else, for that matter), you are probably aware of the political crisis that has been seeking more and more attention with each year. The days of casually discussing political issues and sharing different viewpoints are virtually over... and it is so unfortunate. As a free country, it should be a no-brainer that respectfully expressing differences in beliefs is not only acceptable, but strongly encouraged. Unfortunately, even publically supporting the president of the United States with bumper stickers or hats can cause prejudice and hate. And that is at it's most basic form of support... people who want to share a Facebook post, watch a certain news channel, or participate in marches and organizations are prone to hate - regardless of your political affiliation, though some are more subject than others.
It does not matter who you support - this isn't political - it just isn't right. And I think we should all come to terms with it.
Today, there seems to be no divide larger than that of the political party you affiliate with. I'm serious, I truly believe that what once was a way to draw the people together - the freedom to express opinion regarding how the country and world may be run, what was considered not to be a right but a privilege - is pulling us farther and farther apart.
Under the Trump administration, specifically, this is an extremely relevant issue, though it has been for years. The two major political parties are very clear - republican and democrat. Generally speaking, even expressing which one you most identify with - even if you are a moderate - can, and likely will, cause dispute depending on your setting. There are many people who lean very far right or very far left, but the fact of the matter is that beliefs cannot be fit into boxes. These two 'parties' are more generally accepted ideas. That said, to say you are a Republican should not mean you are "racist", a "misogynist", "homophobe", or an "old white man". Similarly, Democrats are not "communists", "tree-huggers", or any other words slandered by the media. In fact, these terms are derogatory, prejudiced and quite ignorant.
Values and beliefs cannot be measured on a one-size-fits-all basis.
The extent of political affiliation is a spectrum - some lean more right or left than others. Personally, I lean right - I am more-so a Republican, but I do not believe my values can be grouped. Not all of my beliefs necessarily fit the mold people place upon my affiliation. I support our president, regardless of who that may be - Democrat or Republican. At the end of the day, this person has us all in his or her best interest. Their views may be different - some may not even make sense to me - but it is the voting process of the citizens in which we have followed for years. I may not feel we are headed in the right direction, but we surely will not get anywhere if we divide from the person who represents us. I am pro-life and strongly believe in gender equality, although I would not call myself a "feminist", at least in regards to today's definition. I believe in coming into this country the legal way in the effort to keep our nation secure although I am not a racist nor a homophobe. Although when I say I am a Republican, I am misunderstood and categorized by pre-notations.
Political parties exist for a reason, though not everyone fits into a predetermined category. Values and beliefs are what make us different and having conversations that allow us to share what we think will put our nation at best interest would be far more constructive than name-calling and assumption.