By Darby Good | Digital Managing Editor
Relationships with people who think politically different than you are some of the most important relationships you can have in your life. By opening yourself up to different opinions, you are able to think outside of your own personal beliefs and have more compassion for the people around you.
These “across the aisle” relationships are not just vital to our society, but government as well. The best way, arguably, to pass a bill in Congress is through bipartisan legislation where both sides are able to come to an agreement and vote with minimal pushback.
In many instances beyond legislation, members of Congress have been able to put aside their political differences in favor of friendships. For example, John McCain and Hillary Clinton always touted their friendship as an example of their abilities to work across the aisle with the other party. The two individuals held very separate political ideals but remained friends on and off the Senate floor.
It is also important to remember that every individual can fall somewhere different on the political spectrum. One person identifying as a Republican does not mean that they 100% align with the beliefs of the Republican Party. It means that their beliefs fall more in-line with that party versus the others.
Your political party also does not determine your views on human rights issues, because it is not a political issue but a politicized issue. These issues should not be politicized, but they have been and that still should not be projected onto the people in your life. Each political party has a racist history, and both parties are using race as a tool in the 2020 presidential election.
Democrats are using the Black Lives Matter movement to highlight the systemic racism that continues to happen in our country to further their political ideals of expanding government to offer help to the little guy. Republicans on the flip side of that coin, highlight rioting and looting to further their objectives of protecting businesses and the economy.
At the end of the day, it is your own personal choice whether or not to end a friendship over political issues, but I would highly encourage against it. Our country is very polarized politically, socially and economically. In order for us to reach a degree of understanding, we have to be willing to reach out and talk to each other.
One of the most beautiful things I have seen come out of the Black Lives Matter movement is the wave of education. I learned so much about the inequality that continues to happen in our country this semester and continue to be in awe of those who have shared their experiences.
As a society, we need to use our basic human rights as a platform to come together instead of letting that tear us apart.