Call For Peaceful Political Discussion
by Lydia Yang on Friday, April 8th, 2016
Politics are complicated. To be honest, I don’t know much about them or the platforms of the Democratic and Republican parties. However, I am aware of the power of politics to separate the American people. I faced my first challenges with politics when I came to Milton and was confronted by a mix of both conservative and liberal students. While it makes for great discussion, I have seen that this political mix can cause issues. Since having this realization, I have decided to simply accept the presence of politics without choosing a side. In an attempt to avoid conflict with strangers or friends, I have chosen to remain neutral and promote peace.
As an advocate for compassion, the game of politics upsets me. I watch classmates lash out against each other during required seminar courses, such as Values and Social Awareness, or on Twitter for something “wrong” that someone said. I often feel confused about the unnecessary competition and why the parties, as naive as I may sound, just can’t get along.
In fact, at this point, it feels to me that the the parties disagree with each other just to start a fight. Why, I wonder, when one party takes a stance, does the other have to automatically oppose it? Why can’t the parties listen to each other and maybe even accept that Republicans can have liberal views and Democrats can have conservative ones? Do all people who are in favor of gun rights also hate abortion? Is it impossible that someone supports increasing minimum wage as well as harsher punishment for crimes? I don’t think so.
On another note, the political disputes that I overhear seem even more irrational when the people arguing are uneducated or misinformed. What I mean to say, Milton Academy students, is that I don’t want to hear what your parents think or some facts that you overheard your friends talking about. I want to learn what you think. So, please, have the open mind to devise your own political opinions and listen to those of others.’
One of my Social Awareness classes recently began with a discussion of whether or not Planned Parenthood should be defunded. My classmates had a variety of perspectives, with the majority of them opposing the defunding. As I listened to the views of my classmates, I praised their ability to formulate genuine opinions (even if I respectfully disagreed with some of them). I believe that progress starts with the youth and that no progress can be made if there is constant fighting. So, it is very important that American citizens learn to get along with each other at an early age. After all, we, the youth and students of America, will eventually be the ones running the country.
The solution to the many issues with politics today may be as simple as respect. It’s alright to have a strong opinion and express it with an educated voice, as long as you are also sensitive and considerate of other people. I don’t think that one’s political standpoint should be used to judge his character. When I meet new people, I try not to jump to conclusions about them based off of their political views. I believe that such judgements would only promote intolerance, which damages the dynamics of society and eventually the government. It’s important to respect the opinions of everyone; respect their morals and ideas, unless they directly hurt somebody.
In simplest words, being respectful while discussing politics may save a friendship, reveal new resolutions to dilemmas, or perhaps allow two contrasting parties to reach a compromise. Whether Republican, Democrat, or somewhere in the middle, we are all human beings who should support and love one another no matter our doctrines.
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