Politics and Tomatoes

In the age of the internet, it's very easy to feel pessimistic about all of the disagreements our nation has on political beliefs across all ages and states. With the click of a button, you can share your beliefs, criticize someone else's, or simply like/favorite a post that you agree with, which is less of a commitment, but still shares your thoughts.

The issue with this is that we build online communities together that infringe upon discussion, and we assume that everyone making a political choice has the exact same knowledge, education, and upbringing as us. We expect them to see the world the way that we do, but this is impossible because many of us exist with an entirely different make up.

Take tomatoes, for example. I hate them, and I do not understand anyone who can happily eat them. If I were to go online, I could likely find a group of people who are also extremely against tomato shenanigans of any kind. By talking to them, I would build up a wall of tomato hatred, and I would believe that most people agreed with the idea that tomatoes are crap because pretty much everyone I interacted with would agree with that.

In the same way, we build communities around our beliefs, polarizing ourselves from others and making other ideas hard to comprehend.

Here's where the tomatoes really come in: People who love tomatoes aren't going to understand me, and they're probably going to try to make me change my mind on them. As a frequent user of the internet, I have found that it is near impossible to find a friendly interaction between a person trying to convince someone of something and the person they are trying to convince. People often resort to screaming, name-calling, or getting a group of people together to berate whoever they disagree with.

If you try to force tomatoes down someone's throat, screaming that they must like tomatoes, they're probably still going to hate tomatoes. If you try to get someone to hate tomatoes by spitting in their tomatoes before they put them in their mouth, they're probably going to still like tomatoes but not like you.

On the other hand, if you talk to someone about the things that you like tomatoes in, why you like them in those things, and what they have to offer that the tomato hater might have yet to know about, they might start to inch towards your tomatoes. They might understand you, or at least understand why you feel how you do.

No one is going to understand your views if you attempt to bully them out of their own ones. It is counterproductive, yet seen all too often in every inch of the world. We need to attempt to educate each other in a civil way so that we can achieve a greater understanding of the problems around us and how we can come together to solve them.

So, the next time you go to talk to someone about why you disagree with them, consider that shoving a tomato down someone's throat won’t make much progress at all.

Cover image source: Pexels