Don’t turn political arguments into political hate

We are divided as a country as people would rather fight and judge one another over politics

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While everyone may have their differences politically with each other, we should never let politics come between us and our friends, and how we look at other people around us. (Photo from of pixabay.com)

Brandon Zamora, Opinion Editor

2020 has been a difficult year for a lot of people in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic—from protesting and rioting in different cities across the nation, to tension with this year’s election coming from both Republicans and Democrats. As a country, we are more divided than ever, with both sides from the left and right of the political spectrum attacking each other in a way I’ve never seen before. 

Arguing about politics is one thing, but we’re at the point where people from both sides are at each other’s throats and looking like they’re ready to pick a fight with someone or even kill each other. What makes this hard for me to witness, is that I have friends who are voting for both Donald Trump and Joe Biden, and while I do have my own political views, I don’t believe I should cut someone out of my life just because we don’t agree politically. 

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like Trump or the Republican party, however, I also don’t like Biden or the Democratic party. Both parties are flawed and would rather spend their time fighting against one another, rather than trying to co-exist and actually help our country with the issues we’re facing right now, such as the pandemic and racial equality, because neither side can ever agree with each other and that influences a lot of the people within the U.S.

I’ve seen a common trend on social media where people, my friends included, are making and sharing posts saying “beware of” certain people, and when I see these types of posts, it’s always someone wearing a hat that says “MAGA.” I talked to one of my friends who shared a post like this on Facebook and asked them why people needed to be warned about this person. My friend told me they didn’t know the person, but because they supported Trump, they needed to warn everyone on their friends’ list about that person.

That’s not to say that this issue is only coming from people who identify themselves as Democrat, as a lot of Trump supporters have the habit of making an enemy out of anyone who doesn’t support him, and a lot of that has to do with some of the things our current president says, either in his speeches or in his tweets. According to an article by the Washington Post titled “Trump’s push to amplify racism unnerves Republicans who have long enabled him”, Trump himself has gone after the “radical left”, saying that they are trying to “erase” American history and that he will “defend the American way of life.”

Leaders have a way of influencing people with their words, and without a doubt, Trump has a way with words that can really motivate a lot of his supporters to be very hateful to anyone who doesn’t support him. 

Throughout this year, multiple protests have been going around the country by the Black Lives Matter movement to stand up against injustices done to people within the black community and standing up to police brutality. What should be treated as a civil rights movement has somehow turned into a left vs right issue, as most people who classify themselves as a liberal side with BLM, while most conservatives don’t support that group and some support a movement called “Blue Lives Matter” instead, a movement that was created in 2014 to support police officers after getting accused of hate crimes. 

This issue adds fuel to the already burning fire happening in our country, which is leading to the people being divided more than ever before. The worst part I’ve noticed is that I see a lot of my friends say that this is an issue that I need to pick a side on because if I don’t I’m still part of the problem. However, I simply can’t do that because I see arguments for both sides and I can’t bring myself to side with one group over the other, especially when I have friends who support both sides to this issue.

The majority of my friends identify as a Democrat and have told me they plan on voting for Biden this year, but I do have a few friends who are voting for Trump. I’ve been told by my Democrat friends that I shouldn’t be friends with Trump supporters because in their mind, every one of them is a racist and I’m “ignorant” for keeping them around in my life.

According to one of my friends who plans on voting for Trump, who wishes to remain anonymous to protect his name from being an open Trump supporter, one of the biggest reasons for him voting for Trump is that he is a Republican and that “he’s been good with lower taxes.” While he understands Trump’s mouth doesn’t have a filter, he believes in his policies and doesn’t believe that Trump hates anyone because of their skin color.

“For me, it is kind of a right versus left thing as I do support Trump simply because he’s the Republican nominee and I’ve voted for that party all my life,” my Trump-supporting friend said. “Trump is a politically incorrect guy, but I don’t believe he’s racist, as he likes people who like him, and opposes those who oppose him regardless of their color.”

Even if I don’t agree with my friend when it comes to politics, I’ve known him long enough to where we can agree to disagree and still have a friendship that has meaning. Just because he’s a Trump supporter, doesn’t mean I have to hate him for it, because I know he doesn’t hate me for not wanting to vote for Trump. 

Tensions are very high this year with the election and all of the issues we are having as a country. I’m not saying that you need to agree on everything with everyone, but spreading hate no matter who you are, or what side you support isn’t the way, because fighting against each other doesn’t solve anything; it only creates more problems. 

People should stand up for their rights and stand up to injustices, but you shouldn’t let that blind you and accuse everyone of being the enemy because of their political views. One of the biggest issues in this country is discrimination, and that’s an issue I see coming from both sides, pointing the finger at each other and judging people they’ve never met based on who they plan on voting for.