Don’t let your politics get in the way of your humanity

Zach Brien

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After Tuesday’s midterm elections, a seismic change rocked U.S. politics. Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, giving them control of the Congress. The so-called “do-nothing” congress is now in control. A great deal of gridlock in Washington D.C. is likely to come, which is a frustrating possibility for Democrats everywhere.

This seismic change speaks to the hyper-partisanship in America. Republican ideologies will take a stranglehold on national politics. This will result in more political tension nationwide, from the state level all the way down to a personal level.

In light of this drastic change, we the American people must do a great deal of self-reflection. We can’t let this change in Washington change how we view one another.

We must learn to separate a person’s personality from their political affiliation. It’s difficult, but it’s necessary. If we keep this mindset, we close ourselves off from fun we could have and laughs we could share.

Take this for example: Suppose you are a staunch liberal. Now suppose that you and Bill O’Reilly — or some other politician or pundit whose politics you despise — root for the same football team. This team is playing in primetime and you want to have a bunch of people over, including Bill O’Reilly.

Can you lay down your political prejudices,  invite Bill over to watch the game and see him as Bill the football fan and not Bill O’Reilly the bombastic conservative pundit?

Liberals, if we were all honest with ourselves, we would have a hard time doing so. Admit it.

I’m not saying we should all be friends and hold hands while singing “Kumbaya.” That’s unrealistic. What I’m advocating for is our humanity; our sense of community.

You should not despise someone or write someone out of your social circle because of who they voted for on Nov. 4.

Don’t let the hyper-politicized world we live in muddy the way you see people. When we were young children, we liked or disliked people based on who they were and how they treated us.

This is how we should view all people. If they’re genuinely unpleasant people to be around, don’t spend time with them; don’t have them over for the ball game because of the party they affiliate with. If they’re good people, have them over regardless.

But you should probably think twice about wearing your “I hate Glenn Beck” t-shirt.

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