When the country is divided and so much is at stake, it is important to come together, have genuine conversations, and remember that our enemies aren't always who we decide to pin-point our frustration on. We need to accept the facts for facts and debate our opinions in the most productive way possible. The goal isn't to "win." The goal is to leave this world better than the way we inherited it. Here are 5 things to remember in such a divided political climate.
1. Republicans are not the enemy.
In a country with so many historical atrocities that have shaped its institutions and oppressed people for centuries, it can be hard to reconcile with those who support someone who either endorses prejudice or is indirectly complicit in it. However, it is important to recognize that not all Republicans are racist Trump-living bible thumpers, and by placing people in boxes without hearing their perspective, that's going against the values that our country prides itself on most.
There are plenty of Republicans who are deserving of the horrible things you call them and are a danger to minorities if given power. However, by labeling an entire half of the country as something despicable, the more reasonable Republicans will be unlikely to listen and engage in debate and genuine conversation. Criticizing political views is important. The problem to me, is the increasing disrespect and rudeness that has developed.
2. Democrats are not the enemy.
When your values and everything you've ever known is being threatened by change, it is understandable to be scared and to pin-point the blame on those who you believe are threatening your values. However, by generalizing all democrats as pot-smoking Birkenstock-wearing liberal snowflakes, you are only driving them further away. Share your concerns about the country with your opponents and debate them instead of discrediting their ideas without trying to understand their perspective. We have a lot more in common than we think, and once we begin to realize that, we can have productive and meaningful debates while remaining respectful.
3. Climate change is real whether or not you choose to believe in it.
Scientists have dedicated their lives to studying our world, and by rejecting the things they have found to be true (factully observable and verifiable) based upon no factual evidence is ignorant and counterproductive. Climate change is real, humans are the primary cause, and it is not up for debate. If you believe the economy and producing oil is more important than the negative effects on our planet, then argue that. I don't agree with it by any means, but instead of refusing to believe facts, explain why your priorities don't align with them.
4. Someone holding you accountable is not the same as someone attacking you.
When a politician is investigated or accused of something immoral, that doesn't mean that the accuser is trying to attack the individual. If the accusation is true, it is important for a person who represents our nation to be held accountable for their actions. After all, everyone should be.
5. No person is worth more than another.
The second paragraph of the United States Declaration of Independence states, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." At the time it was written, that statement only applied to white, land-owning men. We've come a long way since then, but regardless on our opinions of immigration, we need to remember that every individual deserves human rights and respect.