The year 2020 has been nothing short of crazy, between the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and protests happening across the country for about two straight months, it seems that every month has a new topic. Something that is on all of our minds, other than going back to school, is the upcoming election this November. It seems now more than ever, everyone has an opinion about it, whether good or bad, and most people disagree.
Though this is true, no one should be ostracized for their opinion.
The definition of the word "opinion" is "a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter." This means that it is not equal to a fact, as a fact is proven where an opinion is a state of mind. Considering the idea that everyone has different experiences in life, people are going to form different opinions.
In America, everyone has the right to free speech under the First Amendment. Just because someone doesn't agree with another doesn't make that person wrong or any less entitled to that right, it's an opinion, not a fact. Something that is spreading throughout social media is "cancel culture." If you don't know, cancel culture is "the popular practice of withdrawing support for (canceling) public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive. Cancel culture is generally discussed as being performed on social media in the form of group shaming."
Mostly affected by this are celebrities and large corporations. Though, it doesn't just affect high profiled people and companies, but everyday people as well. The most basic form of this is cutting people out because they express different views, especially with politics. Politics makes it very easy to argue and hate people because it is hard to see the other perspective. So what is the easiest thing to do when you can't see the other side? Encourage someone to block or unfriend you if they do not agree.
I had a personal experience with this about a month ago. I had this friend who was arguably one of my best friends throughout high school and we did everything together. We were friends since we met the first period of freshman year, we cried together and laughed, stared personal stories, were friendly with the other's family, there was nothing we didn't know about each other. Due to personal reasons, we shared very different views on a political topic and I expressed it on social media, just as she had and she blocked me. Calling me all these horrible names and didn't even want to discuss the topic so I lost a friend. She knew me better than anyone and yet she acted like she didn't know me.
There's a reason freedom of speech is the First Amendment, in my opinion. It is because this country was founded on groups of people disagreeing with the monarchy and speaking up and letting it be known that they had opinions. America doesn't have a monarch or someone who rules until death, because it's up to the people who they want in power, and opinions could easily change in a four-year term. It's why during a presidential election, there are televised debates, so the people voting can make well-rounded decisions when it comes to voting.
There's a saying that goes "agree to disagree." Pretty much meaning that you don't see eye to eye with someone so you just agree with the idea that you disagree with each other. It is really accepting the idea that there are going to be people that you will just never agree with and that it is OK. No one is forced to share an opinion, it is the beauty of having the right to free speech.
While everyone has free speech, canceling and blocking someone due to different views is not progressive. It is pretty much saying that you are only OK with being around people who agree with you. In that case, there is no room to learn about the other perspective, which can make an opinion seem very ignorant because you don't know the whole thing. Being able to have an open discussion with someone who doesn't completely agree with you can possibly benefit your own knowledge and could maybe even change how you once thought.
Everyone has a right to express themselves, and it is crazy to think that there won't be people who disagree with your ideas and beliefs.
We live in a society where politics have split relationships. When it doesn't have to because people are more than just a political opinion. Maybe people have that view because of something that happened personally to them, experience can change a person's life. It is so hateful to "cancel" someone because of a view or belief than it is to be accepting and loving of that person. If someone is good, then that's it people need to see past the politics of everything and love each other. At the end of the day, hate has never done anything good for the world.