Transitioning from a conservative hometown to a very liberal college campus has been an interesting experience.
My political ideals have shifted, I have partaken in more reading and discussions of politics and I have become passionate about what I believe in. While my ideas are more appeased by the Democratic party and liberalism in general, it can still be hard to shake the experiences and ideas I grew accustomed to growing up.
As our political climate rapidly becomes more violent, divisive and seemingly unreal at times, it appears, to me, that America is losing its ability to further a conversation. Instead of debating a political issue and discussing the arguments, facts, and opinions, Americans (on both side of the political spectrum) resort to outrage and protest. Civility seems to be a fleeting thing of the past.
Liberals seem to get the most of this negative stigma as terms like "snowflake" become common vernacular. However, Conservatives are picking the wrong bone with liberals. The issue is not, and should never be, liberals protesting (what should be partisan issues) racism, discrimination, homophobia, white supremacy, equal rights and potential treason. The issue is that liberals are beginning to form this moral superiority complex when it comes to having discussions about politics.
Don't get me wrong, there are flaws running deep in the Republican Party. They run deeper than just being able to have a political conversation. There could be a whole other article about political discourse and Republicans.
However, it's important to establish a mutual middle-ground. Republicans are picked apart on social media, TV and many college campuses. Although most of it is rightfully so, it's important to step back and look at the other side of the issue: liberalism.
Stereotyping happens on both sides, but liberals have begun to brand and stereotype all Republicans as racist, homophobic, misogynist, etc. This largely stems from Trump and his administration condoning (or refusing to condemn) such abhorrent acts of racism, homophobia, misogyny, etc.
To correlate millions of Americans to one disaster of a president and his administration is a dangerous mindset. Do you really think the 65 million people who voted for him are that explicitly racist, homophobic, misogynistic, etc? If it were to be the case, this country would be in a much more violent state.
Trump gave several warnings and clues during his campaign that this level of incompetence was to come, but the 65 million people who voted for him still believed in his purpose.
All of this together has begun to usher in this mindset (to liberals) that they were morally superior to their conservative peers.
To act on that statement and to believe it's true is vehemently irresponsible. When it comes to pushing a conversation on political differences, we must have mutual respect with the person we disagree with. Undermining their positions or assuming they are "morally corrupt" ultimately weakens your personal argument. It takes facts, passion and the ability to speak your mind to change someone's stance. If you assume you are better than them, they can easily resort to anger, and thus a conversation is not had.
Truthfully, there is never a morally superior side. Issues, despite how rudimentary some may seem, are always complex. There is never a right or wrong answer in politics. Like it or not, every human will be biased to a certain degree. Past experiences can hinder anyone to support a political party. Assuming you're morally superior to anyone is invalidating what made them the way they are.
This moral superiority complex is ultimately hindering liberals from furthering any political discussion. It prevents liberals from actually hearing why and how people have these "horrible" opinions. Not any Republican is the same. While there are dangerous people on the right, millions upon millions are hard-working, tax-paying, respectable people. Teachers, doctors, fast-food workers, etc.
I personally believe it's time for liberals to swallow their pride and listen to the other side. They might be surprised at how socially liberal most are (or are becoming so). Trump is not a representation of the whole party. Yes, they voted for him and they should own up to that mistake, but Trump's been a loose cannon for far too long now to persecute all his voters. Most of them had no clue he would end up being just this horrible.
As Trump's term progresses, and inevitably more and more controversies arise, it's time not protest and be outraged at the other side. It's time to not assume moral superiority. It's time to sit down and have civil discourse -- for we have proof that it has worked for hundreds of years.