It is no secret politics in America are rough––partisan division, disagreements, social media backlash––and it seems at times the only decision we have as citizens is to pick a side.
The very notion of running for an office, proposing legislation or advocating for change within the nation seems to always be connected to some sort of opposition. After all, Republicans are “supposed” to disagree with Democrats, as with other party platforms and vice versa.
There is always more than one side to an issue within the political realm, especially when it comes to wanting what is best for a country’s citizens. The citizens all want different things, so it is no surprise even our political representatives cannot collectively agree on what the “best” actually is for the whole.
People will always disagree on something because we all have different opinions. We cannot expect one another to all share the same perspective on everything when we all come from different walks of life.
However, I have become more and more uneasy when I open social media and see the hateful comments users lash out at political figures. It is even more unsettling to realize how it has become widely accepted to attack the personal character of a political figure.
I commonly see people disagree with others when it comes to political issues, but instead of allowing others to be entitled to their opinion, or even respectfully disagreeing, they appear to feel the need to beat down the other in whatever way they feel necessary to make their point––which is always “I’m right, you’re wrong.”
Recently, I was especially unnerved after hearing of the mass retaliation to a statement made by Congresswoman IIhan Omar.
Omar posted a comment on Twitter, which was viewed as anti-Semitic. The tweet was removed, and Omar issued a public apology.
However, many individuals––especially those with different political views––are pushing for Omar to step down from her position. There are always consequences for what we post on social media, and while Omar’s post was perhaps mindlessly made, this was a mistake. A mistake for which she sincerely apologized and is continuing to pay for.
We have all made mistakes, but I would like to believe we are all worth more than the sum of those mistakes.
Another individual who faces severe criticism is our president. President Trump, while he has certainly made his fair share of rash comments and crude remarks, is also worthy of grace, just like every single member of our government who is working tirelessly to do what they believe is best for this nation.
We are incredibly blessed to live in a country where we are free to not only have different opinions but also share those opinions. However, we can disagree with those in power while still respecting them.
Political figures are human, and human means flawed. None of us are perfect, and we all share a variety of differing views, but this does not mean we have the right to attack our nation’s leaders.
When a political figure posts a tweet that makes your skin crawl or advocates for something you stand against, just remember: while we have the freedom to say what is on our minds, it does not necessarily mean we should.
Agree or disagree––but please do both respectfully.