Monday, May 1, 2017

Extra Credit - Political Polarization

Prior to taking this class, I did not know there was a term used for the two opposite ends of the political spectrum. Once we began discussing what political polarization is, I was able to apply it to my life. Everyone knew about the 2016 presidential election between President Trump and Hillary Clinton. Growing up I always was taught, "Never talk about religion or politics, it is just rude." On campus, I was taking a class called Organizing Social Change. I was in the class with two other males, the rest female. I thought nothing of that until the second week when the professor brought up the election. She asked the class straight faced, "What are your political views?" I was shocked, I did not know what I was going to say as each person in the class described why they like Hillary Clinton so much. I voted for Donald Trump, but not because I like him, or that I agree with him necessarily. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. The people of the United States of America have been electing politicians term after term. I, along with many other Americans, felt the same way. In this social change class, if I backed Trump on anything instead of Hillary, I would be labelled as a white supremacist, homophobe, xenophobe, privileged male who hated everything and everyone other than my own. In turn, I don't think that people that support Hillary are all far-left, socialist hippies, but some people think that way - not me. In the last several years this country's divide has grown larger and larger. I hate to see political views get in the way, they shouldn't matter. Folks in other countries are watching what we are doing, laughing at us, because we can't seem to figure anything out.
As Americans, we should never let our personal views get in the way of the core reason we are all one. There is a reason this country is called the United States, and not the Connected States. We all believe in certain things for many different reasons. Some qualities/beliefs are innate, some are taught to us during our childhood, and some are gained after thorough research. There shouldn't be a label as the 'alt-right' or 'alt-left', because in the end, we are all Americans, we should treat each other as such.

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