I am sad to say that I see a huge flaw handicapping our nation, and it is how politics are currently being viewed. The Democratic and Republican parties have become extremely polarized. There have always been differences between the two parties—after all, that was the reason for their formation—but they used to work together from their different stances instead of remaining juxtapose.
This dissension is due to an arrogance within both parties. People believe that what they think is the only correct way. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not arrogant to stand by your beliefs. I have a party I support and a stance on most political issues, but the problem occurs when you view the “other side” as too stupid to say anything valuable enough to listen to. I have never met an individual who has the same viewpoint on a matter throughout their whole life without it evolving at least slightly, which shows that no one is 100 percent correct in all their opinions all the time. Even if there was an unwavering person, I am more inclined to think that is a sign of foolishness and not wisdom.
This arrogance leads to pride as both parties refuse to truly acknowledge the faults within their side. Both have corrupt politicians, negative effects that stem from the some of the laws that they support and misconceptions on some matters. Moreover, so many people in their arrogance are placing different values on human lives. I have heard members of both groups make comments reinforcing the mistreatment of their fellow citizens that stand across the aisle. It is extremely disturbing to me to see the political system that was meant to uplift all men and their opinions used to beat down and tear apart one another.
To assist in overcoming the current polarization occurring, I have some suggests that are nothing novel, but things we know and yet chose to ignore. The first is the age-old principal of listening. We need to be humble enough to listen to people who have counter views so that we can learn from their standpoint. Next, we need to stop the negative rhetoric being used by average citizens and even politicians in reference to people in another party. For instance, labeling a whole group as unreasonable is unreasonable in it of itself as it is far too large of a generalization. Lastly, I think we need to be open about our party’s failures and claim responsibility to garnish respect from others. If we hold to something that is obviously wrong, we lose all credibility in what we are saying that is right and that leaves little room for positive forward movement.
I believe if we apply humility in listening without an agenda, respectful speech and honest acknowledgement of failures, we can move forward as a more effective and collective group made up of valuable and differing opinions.