It is no secret that Americans in general have become more separated politically over the last several years.
You can see it on infamous Facebook comment wars and on people’s not-so-subtle Tweets. You can hear it in the tone of people’s voices when they argue in person and in the way people interact with those who do not have the same beliefs as them.
Americans have become significantly more political over the last decade and it seems we are unable to separate people from their politics — although some try.
American citizens have become significantly more polarized, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center. The median of shared beliefs have diminished and hostility between parties has risen.
The number of Republicans who view Democrats as “unfavorable” or as “a threat to nation’s well-being” has risen from 17 percent in 1994 to 43 percent in 2014. Similarly, the number of Democrats has risen from 16 percent in 1994 to 38 percent in 2014.
Our political views are even keeping us from continuing our friendships and relationships with other human beings. According to the same survey, 63 percent of conservatives and 49 percent of liberals claim their closest friends share their political views.
There is nothing wrong with being active in politics and caring about the future of our country.
However, lately it seems to me like politics have meaner and more unforgiving.
Politics can divide us from caring about other human beings because we see their political views first and foremost.
Tensions are rising with mid-term elections on the horizon and it will inevitably separate us across political lines. With such stark contrasting opinions on the current administration’s last two years in office, there is a lot on the line with these elections.
However, remember that striving for unity is more important than being right.
Rather than attacking someone for saying something you do not believe is correct or for supporting a candidate you do not support yourself, remember that politics are not the only thing that matters about a person.
If politics are keeping us from relating to other people, trying to understand and building relationships then we are doing it wrong.
Tensions may get high but remember to act with compassion and listen before you automatically try to correct someone with your own beliefs.
No matter who wins the future elections, the world will go on and we must learn to embrace bipartisanship and compromise.