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Political polarity is going to destroy the United States

Political polarity is going to destroy the United States

Political polarity is going to destroy the United States
February 25
14:00 2022

Are you a Republican or Democrat? Are you liberal or conservative? That’s all anyone seems to care about now that the United States is firmly settled in its age of (or should I say the debate between) left versus. right. The extreme polarity we see and have been seeing since the United States gained its independence in 1776 will destroy us sooner than later if something is not done to bridge the divide. 

The biggest example of extreme opposition we’ve seen in history has to be the Civil Rights Movement of the ’50s and ‘60s. There were two clear sides to this battle, even though it really shouldn’t have even been a battle at all. White U.S. citizens with racial superiority complexes had the audacity to challenge Black citizens who were simply demanding equal rights. The passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the much-needed win in the battle for equal rights for African Americans, women and individuals of other ethnicities. 

One of the biggest advantages to this moment in history is that we have physical evidence that compromising and achieving peace is possible, despite how impossible it may seem. There are dozens of other instances similar to this, proving that accord is achievable.

Despite this huge step in the direction towards unity that was taken decades ago, we still see hatred and discrimination running rampant across the nation. Contrasting perspectives from more than 70 years in the past, which you would think would be much less of an issue by now, are still causing mayhem in society. 

If we all learned how to accept things for what they are, these events, and more importantly the circumstances that caused them, would have been avoided. 

Unnecessary conflict is something we as Americans must make a concentrated effort to escape. Unwarranted violence, along with the bigoted insensitivity that provokes the violence, has no place in a nation where hundreds of millions of unique individuals reside, especially not in 2022.

The parallels we see between decades ago and now are saddening. The intolerance the right and left have for each other is wrong. We should not be treating our neighbors, friends and even family with such hostility, even though it may seem warranted at times. Violence, be it physical, emotional or verbal is never the answer to any kind of conflict.

The obstacles each party faces at the hands of the other are entirely avoidable. If we all acted like the mature adults we are and not let our egos get in the way of human decency, the nation would not be swiftly approaching the outbreak of another civil war.

In order to instill a much more peaceful environment nationwide, we must concentrate on growing tolerant. There are a lot of things people on both the extreme left and the extreme right get overly upset about. To move away from this habit, we must learn how to rationalize our feelings and not be so reactive. Instead, we need to become more firm in our own opinions rather than try to argue with others.

Having said individuals are far too extreme in their beliefs, that is not to say it isn’t important to be firm in them (there is a clear difference). The ferocity is what we need to steer away from, but actually having opinions is amazing. It’s more important now to be aware of politics and social events than it has ever been before, so being apolitical is not an option anymore. 

Forming your own beliefs while still having the ability to respect others shows maturity. If you are unable to act with this dignity, you need to reevaluate a lot of things in your life, starting with something we all learned in kindergarten: treat others the way you would want to be treated.

At the end of the day we always have been and always will be humans and Americans at our core, no matter race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity or socioeconomic background. Having so much hatred for others simply because they are different from you is pointless. Being forgiving takes little to no effort, and most humans are naturally inclined to be kind. 

Next time you find yourself wanting to argue just for the sake of arguing, take a moment and decide whether it would be really worth it or not. Do your part to lessen heightened tensions, lest we find ourselves pitted against each other once again.

Featured Illustration by J. Robynn Aviles

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Natalie VanDerWal

Natalie VanDerWal

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