Two weeks ago, Gloria Steinem went on "Real Time with Bill Maher" and offered her theory as to why more young women are voting for Bernie Sanders. "Women get more radical as they lose power. They're going to get more activist as they get older, and when you're young, you're thinking, 'Where are the boys?' The boys are with Bernie."
At the same time, Madeline Albright went to a rally for Hillary Clinton and said that there was a "special place in Hell" for young women who don't support other women (in this case, meaning that young women shouldn't support Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton, because Hillary is a woman).
On Sanders' end, a group of his supporters, nicknamed "Berniebros," have been attacking Clinton and her supporters on the internet. At a rally, Bill Clinton said that people "who have gone online to defend Hillary, to explain why they supported her, have been subject to vicious trolling and attacks that are literally too profane often — not to mention sexist — to repeat." Sanders has gone out of his way to express his distaste for those who are using his platform to attack supporters of his opponent.
On the other side of the isle, Trump supporters have filed a lawsuit against Ted Cruz, claiming he should not be eligible to run for president because he was born in Canada. Trump supporters have also attacked Megyn Kelly, protesters, Latinos and black men. In New Hampshire, supporters of Marco Rubio got into a physical altercation with demonstrators dressed as robots, who were mocking Rubio's "robotic rhetoric."
It's a growing trend among American voters to attack others for not sharing their opinion. Look at any Facebook post about the race and you're sure to find nasty comments directed at a certain candidate. The excuse for this is often that "Americans are angry and they want change."
And while that's certainly a valuable argument, there are tasteful ways to show your frustration, and there are inappropriate ways. Guess which way are the examples I gave earlier?
It's one thing to dislike Hillary Clinton's policies or to not trust her based on her involvement with Goldman Sachs. It's another thing entirely to criticize the outfit she wore to the last debate. It's one thing to disagree with Bernie Sanders' policies.
It's different to make fun of his hair. Sure, you can hate Trump's ideas for the country, but do you really think he actually wants to have sex with his daughter? If you don't like a candidate, the least you could do is have a good reason why.
And if you attack others for their differing opinion on how the country should work, that's simply unpatriotic. People are entitled to their own opinions, as long as they aren't putting anyone's life in danger, and while Trump's supporters are certainly getting very close to crossing that line, attacking them only makes you look bad, too.
If you want actual change for the country, the best thing to do is bring people together as Americans and discuss your opinions. You may not agree with a Bernie voter if you're voting for Hillary, but it will give you a better understanding of why they support their candidate and vice-versa.
It's hard to discuss your views with someone on the other end of the spectrum, but it's not impossible if you're respectful, open-minded and you have facts to back your opinions up.
There are, of course, two sides to the political establishment, and there are good odds that at least half of the country won't agree with your political opinions. That doesn't mean they're ignorant or wrong, it means they were brought up a different way, and you both deserve equal respect. As history has shown, there is nothing more American than unity.