The great thing about our country and our voting system is everyone has an opportunity to express their opinions and find a candidate that speaks to their views for the future of America. One of the disruptive aspects of this is nowadays people have a hard time understanding that everyone is entitled to that opinion, whether they agree or not. We find this in news outlets, online sources, and now it’s impacting our friendships. How can you maintain equal ground when the issues can be so heated and feel personal to some? Here are a few ways to impact the nation through actions, instead of petty words.
Stay Off Facebook
No really, don’t do it. When has anyone’s political opinion been changed through a Facebook post? Places like this thrive off of building tension and creating fruitless arguments among people. Like everything, technology and platforms can be wonderful if used properly. You should never be threatening to “unfriend” anyone who doesn’t share your opinions. How undemocratic is that?
Being Okay with the Uncomfortable
One of the ideas that made this country what it is today is tolerance for alternative thinking. These days people get so focuses on who is “right” and “wrong” without really understanding where someone else might be coming from. If you must engage with friends about politics, come from a place of learning and experimentation. Don’t spend the whole time arguing and telling the other person how wrong and crazy they are. Be okay with trying to understand someone else’s position. It will make you stronger in your feelings for yours and respect others’ ideas. Take your vote to the polls instead of trying to convince or gather more followers.
While we can’t be responsible for the pettiness news outlets have let their broadcasts become, we can take control of our own actions with being an informed, responsible voter. Delete words from your political vocabulary like “idiot” “stupid” “moron” “evil person” etc. etc. – you know the ones that aren’t making a good adult argument. Find ways to express yourself with the political issues instead of lashing out a tirade of nonsense. You’ll come across much more able and open to discuss politics with anyone you encounter.
Use Your Voice Effectively
If you feel very strongly about a political issue, put your money where your mouth is. Use less words and more actions. Get involved with your party without looking for the praise on a social media platform. Be secure in yourself that you are making a difference. Encourage others to vote, period. Try to single out a couple of issues that you really feel strongly about instead of trying to blanket cover every issue under the sun. Your focus will provide a bigger impact to those around you.
Politics should be something that is celebrated – we live in an amazing country where we have the freedom of choice. We all need to work together to improve the future of our country, this means ideas from both sides must be respected and explored. Let your friends exercise that freedom in a way that brings us closer together, instead of driving everyone apart.