It seems each day our country continues to become more and more divided. Liberal vs. conservative. Anti-trump vs. pro-trump. Should we deport illegal immigrants? Should we redefine our generally accepted views on gender? Taking a stance on being liberal or conservative is a great tool to help you understand which side of issues you tend to lean towards. And I say “tend to” because most people don’t agree with everything their party agrees with.
This perspective has been completely lost in amidst the recent presidential election. While it’s good to take a stance and fight for something you believe in, often times those beliefs are your preferences, not objective truths or facts.
A fact is a thing that is indisputably the case, whereas a preference is a greater liking for one alternative over another. With this in mind, we can start small and list some things that are preferences and list others that can be generally accepted facts.
Fact: I should eat breakfast this morning. Preference: Of all foods, I should eat eggs for a healthy breakfast. It could be considered a basic fact that I should breakfast this morning, but it’s unclear whether I should eat eggs, other than my liking for the food. If I’m trying to get a six pack I may prefer to eat healthy (I don’t have a six pack, I actually ate pancakes). From a different angle, a vegan may not consider eggs as a healthy breakfast option for ethical reasons. The point is here that when dealing with things on what people should or should not do, these are issues of context and preference and not issues of fact.
Let’s branch this out to our political agendas. Fact: Donald Trump won the presidency. Preference: Of all presidential candidates, Donald Trump should not be the president of the United States. You may feel very strongly about Donald Trump not being president, but this is only a preference. So why are there so many people making fun of others just because they hold different views? Making fun of somebody else for any reason will blind you from understanding their perspective. If you got on social media or have heard a conversation or two pertaining to the topic, you’d also agree that there is a lot of ostracism going on.
Roughly half the country voted yea and half voted nay. So, who is right? To get through to your counterparts you shouldn’t socially ostracize them but instead understand the context of their lives. Then try to help them understand the context of your own life. Have a conversation. It’s possible they also share some of the same views as you. Only genuine communication with one another can help us bridge the gap and help us move toward a more united country.