Well, today is midterms. You’re probably getting ready to cast your vote or nervously waiting for the polling results.
Well, stop worrying. Unfortunately, your vote might not change the political climate in America.
Over the last few years, we’ve polarized ourselves. Partially because politicians will do anything to divide us and partially because we’ve chosen to listen to them. As politicians continue to preach and embrace radical ideas that go against our traditions and values, the sides separate further.
However, more alarmingly, the hostility in politics has increased dramatically over the recent years. Politicians vilifying the opposing party and its ideals has become the norm. For example, Hillary Clinton encouraged an end to civility, Maxine Waters has called for protesters to harass Republicans, Steve King made abhorrently racist remarks, and Donald Trump has advocated for violence on many occasions. Unless we elect leaders that respect the other side of the aisle, the situation is not going to improve.
Most alarmingly, Pew Research shows that in the last few decades, animosity for the opposing party has risen significantly, and more Americans are viewing the other side as “a threat to the nation’s well-being”.
So, where are we going? Unfortunately, if we do not get our act together as a country, not somewhere pretty. We’re in a political climate in which we have created enemies out of fellow citizens with different views and solutions. If we continue to attack each other and not find common ground, radicals from the ends of the spectrum will rip this country apart.
What can you do?
The first step is to stop the rhetoric. Members of the opposing party are not your enemies and aren’t trying to destroy America. They never have been and they never will be. This animosity will have to change before we can craft solutions that work for everyone.
Once we move past the hatred and division that politicians on both sides have so successfully sewn for years, we will be able to work together.
The second step is compromise. America will not work under strictly liberal or strictly conservative principles. Our leaders must work together for all corners of the country. Although America is made up of many different types of people with different values and ideals, we must be able to talk through our differences and better understand each other.
In closing, we have more in common than you think. You’re not going to hear this sentiment echoed by mainstream media outlets today. You’re not going to hear this from one party talking about the other. But you need to hear it from me. No matter the results of this election and elections in the future, we are still one country.
As you cast your vote, remember that there are things that are more important than politics. We must not let politics control our lives and dictate our relationships with our families, neighbors, and fellow Americans. Life is so much more than politics or an election; it’s about time that we in the political community realize this.