If I had to use one word to describe American politics today it would be division. This is a glaring problem that needs fixing, but it’s not surprising when both of the major parties hate each other. This hatred is perpetuated by two parties that continue to move further apart from each other.
People on both sides of the political spectrum have to stop immediately hating others for having different opinions. If this is not changed soon, unity will never exist in America.
Unfortunately, most of us acknowledge the political divide as an issue, but never look further into actually fixing it. It is tough to be around people who you disagree with on such major issues, but at some point you have to be mature and try to understand each other. This is not saying hateful ideas such as racism, sexism and homophobia do not exist, but that is why we need to be united so we can tackle those issues together.
Instead of assuming why people support certain issues in politics, we should make an effort to understand their exact reasoning. As a result, we can identify where the hateful ideas of racism, sexism and homophobia are seeping into politics.
When we understand each other’s opinions, we can focus on where we agree. Looking for common ground instead of reasons to hate someone could change many from seeing each other as enemies to seeing each other as friends. The reality is that majorities of Democrats and Republicans agree on many major issues.
The next major step of finding unity today in America is changing our view of politicians we do not agree with. This is something that will take time, but the American people need to understand that not every politician they disagree with is evil. Many politicians today are targets of heavy criticism that can often turn into personal attacks when all they want to do is truly help.
Those in government have made themselves public servants to try and improve America. Sometimes we disagree with them drastically and as a result we forget what their goals are as politicians. Most of them want to do anything they can to improve America. While not all of them may be great at their job or correct 100% of the time, they desire to do things for the greater good.
For example, many people hate President Donald Trump because they have different policy preferences and they believe him to be many negative things such as a racist, sexist or homophobe. However, his decision to run for president was something more than a mere “power grab.” What did he gain from being the president?
The answer is nothing but more people who hate him. Usually with increases in power comes financial gain, but Trump’s net worth went down significantly. He has distanced himself from the business world after being elected president. He did not need to join the government, but he did so out of the desire to help people.
Trump did this because he wanted to do what he thought was best for America. Whether or not you believe he did help should not be a factor in your consideration of his intentions and how you should treat him. We had the opportunity to evaluate his ability to help America in the election.
The politicians most often demonized by the right are “the squad,” especially Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-MN, and Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY. Many attack their political stances by calling them radical. Once again Americans fail to acknowledge that these politicians are trying to do what they believe is best.
We do not need to agree with every politician, but we need to recognize the sacrifices they are making for us. You might not think all of them are great people, but they are making a difference by trying to do what is best for the nation.
At the end of the day, we need to realize we agree with each other more than we disagree. Everyone wants what is best for the country. If we can’t acknowledge that, we risk never obtaining unity amongst ourselves.
Armando Bracco (he/him) is a freshman studying journalism. He is interested in politics and political reporting.