Why I avoid participating in political discussions
Published: Friday, October 12, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 12, 2012 07:10
To say my Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds were blowing up after the presidential debate last week would be an understatement.
Personally, I would describe the magnitude of posts from friends and fellow students to be more akin to an atom bomb—it seemed like everybody I knew had an opinion about something, from economic policies to health care reforms.
Now, shocking as this may be, I love opinions. I’m an advocate for people expressing their ideas and beliefs, even if they do concern issues such as Mitt Romney’s hairdo. But with everyone I know complaining about Obama’s expenditures or Romney’s "47 percent" statement, I learned something remarkable: Politics suck.
Don’t get me wrong—I respect people who do their homework and research opinions, and I love a good debate—just not about politics. In fact, unlike everyone else, I have absolutely no political statements to make, except about how I don’t like political statements.
I personally stay out of the political pool—and suggest others do as well—because at the end of the day, politics only ends up making our nation bitter and divided. At a time when the country should be coming together and working for a common goal, we are too busy over-analyzing the Republicans vs. Democrats battle that we ultimately lose sight of the big picture—the betterment of our people.
In fact, the whole "political party" idea is toxic in and of itself—given that our country has seen both excellent Republican and Democratic presidents, it’s reasonable to conclude that both Democrats and Republicans, as well as other parties, have ideas that help our nation succeed.
But choosing one side over another and discriminating against people of different parties is not the way to achieve a better United States. Instead of promoting the idea of cohesion, politics serve to divide our community and promote sour relations among us.
But the bitterness doesn’t end there. The head bashing of political debates, even amateur ones among students, is over-dramatized. Many politically-minded individuals are heated about this policy or that, and are quick to become irate when someone opposes their beliefs. In fact, people become so incensed about their opinions meeting counteropinions that often anger is more prominent in a debate than logic and facts.
But why do we involve ourselves in this labyrinth of resentment? Yes, it’s wonderful that Americans are so opinionated. Yes, it’s important that everyone has a voice and that these voices are not quieted by an overbearing government but are instead encouraged in our country.
And yes, it’s even informative and interesting to watch the presidential debate to know where each candidate stands.
But our individual opinions are irrelevant; all that matters is who we choose to place in the Oval Office. If you have an opinion that Romney shares, then vote for him.
If Obama’s statements are more significant to you, then by all means, choose to elect him for another four years. But allowing our opinions to come between us as people does not lead to a better America; it leads to a divided one.
So don’t allow yourself to be drawn into the political animosity.
Accept that everyone has an opinion, that yours is one of them, and that it is neither better nor worse than anyone else’s. Every opinion has an equal weight when we vote for our next president, so why bother discriminating against an opposing one?
Whatever happens in the next few years, it is imperative that we all accept it and learn from our successes and mistakes, because both candidates will have their share of the two.
Keep a cool head, or—if you’re like me—just stay out of it altogether. But in the meantime, I’ll be sure to stay off social networking sites when the next presidential debate rolls around.