The Issue is Not Your Political Views

Students voted on Tuesday.

This election has created a sense of anxiety in almost everyone. Even if the issues being voted on don’t affect you directly, the results of the election are bound to stir up some kind of unrest, regardless of the outcome. Simply being in a climate of such polarization leads to stress.

Throughout the past couple of weeks, and especially yesterday, many people have posted more political content on social media. People expressed their beliefs, sharing pictures of themselves voting and encouraging others to vote. 

One type of post, in particular, stuck out to me. I have seen the message it conveys before, and it has always left me frustrated. This type of post advocates people to not judge others based on political beliefs, as we should be accepting of others’ opinions. While this philosophy is compassionate in theory, it screams privilege and ignorance.

For years, being able to get along with those who had political views that didn’t align with yours was a sign of maturity. It is; whether or not you believe we should have a loose or strict interpretation of the constitution is no reason to end a friendship. 

However, this year, your vote did not just determine economic policies and foreign trade, it determined people’s livelihoods. Using such an argument delegitimizes people’s anger and fear, as well as blaming them for the polarization created.

Your vote directly affected climate change, women’s reproductive rights, immigration policy, police reform, the rights of LGBTQ +, universal healthcare and more. Additionally, your vote affected the way this country’s leadership views and treats white supremacy, racial inequality and gender inequality. 

These are all issues that have led to less tolerance for genuine differences among people, and that lack of tolerance is what makes the argument frustrating and hypocritical.

The term ‘Karen’ has become extremely common. Someone says it, and we can all picture the type of person they are describing. It is not odd to witness someone scream, “Go back to your country,” at a person who speaks a different language or is of different ethnicity.

Currently, there is no federal law that prohibits members of the LGBTQ+ community from being fired, denied a rental lease or refused service because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. If you want people to be tolerant of your political views, you must be tolerant of them as human beings first. Asking the people who live with you will make it worse to not get upset with you “over politics” is insulting.

Furthermore, the argument itself lacks compassion in the context of today. The issues that your vote directly and indirectly impacted play a huge role in the lives of many Americans. Your vote played a role not just in the sense of how much others will pay in taxes but whether they can afford health care for their family, whether they can feel safe calling the police or whether they can see their children again.

It is possible that such issues didn’t affect you, but, when you reduced this election to a matter of political policy, you were being ignorant of the effect it would have on others. It is a privilege to be able to view this election simply as a matter of politics. 

When you chose to vote for the person who will lead to more suffering for others because it benefits you or your family financially, you have no grounds to shame people for being upset with you over politics. It is clear that you are not at odds with someone because of a difference in political beliefs, but because of your morals and human decency.