Republicans versus Democrats. Liberals versus conservatives. Gun reform versus pro-second amendment. Pro-life versus pro-choice. Hillary versus Donald.
The list of what divides Americans is endless. We are consistently taught that debate is good, differences are good, multiple opinions are good to have. However, is what’s happening in the United States today really considered healthy? Is the type of debate we turn to still “good” or are our vicious words just deepening the cavern between American people?
Don’t get me wrong, I hold strong political views and any chance I get, I share them — as should anyone. But, the rhetoric surrounding hot topic issues are going far beyond just debate. We attack each other personally. We believe each other to be uneducated, annoying, snowflakes, bigots. These titles transcend a person’s political opinions, they become a part of our identities. The “us versus them” mentality had flooded the American political and personal sphere.
We surround ourselves with people with the same views as our own. This makes sense because who wants to be friends with someone who is completely against everything you believe in. The question is, are they actually completely against you or have they been conditioned to follow in tow with everyone else? The same can be said about ourselves.
We have two political parties: republican and democrat. We place ourselves in a bubble with little room for compromise. Unlike systems in Europe, we have to coincide with one of these sides. We give up certain opinions to follow what the mass is doing. We accept certain positions because that is what the party accepts. When did we become a nation of labels? Would we be happier if we were given the opportunity to vote for people who truly represent our views instead of forcing us to sacrifice part of what makes us who we are?
Every person is different and has different experiences so why would we silence these by forcing conformity. Naturally, we want to relate to one another but at what cost? Our nation is more divided than ever and no one will budge. We are at a standstill of differing opinions and our only defense is tearing each other down instead of focusing on the problems. When we feel like we are being attacked, we retreat into our own ideologies and reject any form of different opinions.
Are we too far gone? Will we ever become a country that can have healthy discussion again? Or will we always be two sides filled with hate for the other? I truly don’t know, but the prospect of remaining as we are today is heartbreaking.