Many Americans know, without a doubt, the political party that they will die for. No matter how flawed or hypocritical, or how painfully obvious it is to see the money-grab talking points each politician makes. There are some amazing opinions and societal views that come from the conservative side, as well as the liberal side. There are also horrible opinions and views made by overly sensitive individuals on each side that can’t handle a difference in belief, and some of these beliefs are a harm to society. I believe both parties compliment each other very well, and when there are individuals on each side keeping each other accountable and admitting their own strengths and weaknesses, we then have a society that is truly flourishing.
But unfortunately, we don’t have that. We have culture wars and children spewing their opinions as if they were fact, and getting offended at anyone that doesn’t agree. Nowadays everyone cares about research that compliments their own bias, but has every excuse at the ready when they come across research that challenges their beliefs. Everyone speaks in absolutes and believes that somehow makes them superior in intelligence.
Liberals are evil, conservatives are the last renaming sanity.
Conservatives are evil, liberals are the only ones who care for humanity.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a political party you identify with, just as there is nothing wrong with having views & beliefs that don’t align neatly with any given party. Having your own beliefs is a good thing – the world is much more fascinating and productive when we have our own individualism. Want to know what’s actually wrong? Not having the emotional capacity to admit your blindspots and lashing out at those you disagree with. Being a child that cherry picks the good on your team, while conveniently ignoring the bad.
People are so brainwashed by their political bias, that they think everyone needs to have the same exact opinion on everything. Everything is a one-size-fits-all. I’m going to use Donald Trump as an example. Personally, I find it strange that one person alone holds so much space in everyone’s minds and hearts as a beacon of politics whether good or bad, but alas this is the reality of our country, so I’m going to use him as an example.
In general, if you speak to a liberal about Trump, the correct opinion they want you to have of him is that you hate him. You must hate him in some way. You can’t like him at all, and in fact if you say anything remotely positive about him no matter how small, you are now considered the other side and met with death stare eyes. How dare you, you evil doer. Oh, and you are now racist too. Everything is your fault.
The flip side is generally true for conservatives. If you’re a real conservative, then you need to be a fan of Trump. You have to support him in some way. And if you criticize him or dislike him in any way, shape or form, it’s because you got brainwashed by the media. And because the liberals are manipulating you. You’ve now ruined the economy and you hate America. And you’re not a real conservative, you’re a liberal now. Go on the other side now, sheep.
I may be using extremes, but this holds true. And not just for the example I used above, but for any other political talking point that arises. The dialogue is always, “my side vs. your side.”
I’m not going to lie, this stuff does make me laugh. I guess you have to find humor in utter stupidity. But it also saddens me. I’m devastated that having a genuine conversation revolving around political topics turns into the biggest culture and identity war.
So, how do we move forward?
Some look at the state of politics today and say we need a change of power, that one side currently holds too much. But what do you do when even though there is danger in one side having more power and control in the media and society, you understand the danger of flipping that power over to the opposing side? Any side is dangerous with enough power and control.
What do you do when you know the actual answer to healing this divisive nation is having hard conversations with those you disagree with, standing your ground on the points you know are just, and admitting when you are wrong on the points that are not?
The simple answer: stop being big babies who lack nuance and put on your big boy/big girl pants. It’s time to have difficult conversations and swallow the hard truth that yes, you may have your feelings hurt and you may have your beliefs challenged. That is perfectly okay. This is dialogue. You need to accept that not everyone thinks like you, and not everyone will support your views. That doesn’t make them your enemy. When you have these difficult conversations, you’ll learn two extremely important things: how to better articulate your points of view and have strength in standing your ground, and how to have the humility to admit when your view points are actually incorrect or flawed. And yes, you need to admit that you’re not always right. Sometimes, the beliefs you hold near and dear to you, are actually flawed. Accept this and adjust. This is how you creat solutions and progress, by the ability to hold difficult conversations with strong emotional intelligence.
Americans, get your shit together. You are never going to build the nation you so badly want by tearing down the opposing side and refusing to listen to any other opinions but your own. You will forever be stuck in limbo, transferring power back and forth between the parties while the politicians keep playing their game. Nothing will change, and your resentment for your fellow brothers and sisters will grow even larger.
Pick a side or don’t pick a side. None of that truly matters. What matters is your ability to understand your own true opinions and communicate them with those who feel differently. When other opinions get shared with you that you disagree with, understand why, and adjust or remain your ground as necessary. And then work on how to find solutions and move forward together. That’s how you make the country of your dreams.