Commonplace Book 8: Opposing Political Views

“The polarized state of our politics, alas, means that people are so taken up with their political identities that they’re unable or unwilling to consider the views of those outside of their political tribe.”The New York Times

I came across this quote when I was reading an article from the New York Times, Should I Stop Speaking To My Trump Supporting Friends? In which, an unhappy writer wrote about the stress of pursuing a friendship with a friend on the opposite side of the political spectrum. Anonymously written, this person expressed how she did not share the same beliefs, so it became hard to see the friendship continuing.

The New York Times answered this question very well, and I would have similarly too. They said that people need to be more open minded with each other, and learn to listen to opposing opinions. It does not matter if you disagree about certain policies, breaking a friendship off because of this is not worth it. I believe that having a variety of views is actually beneficial. If you only surround yourself with people who think identically to you, it becomes a groupthink scenario, and allowing other viewpoints into your own beliefs will prevent political bubbles.

On the other hand, I do believe it is important to always stand for and by what you believe in. If the morals of the opposer do not align with yours, and it becomes a constant battle to continue the friendship, maybe it would be best to take a step back. But, overall, this should not be an issue. I am curious as to what you all think. Do you think politics are a part of someone’s identity? Is it okay to still be friends, even with significantly different viewpoints?  Where should the line be drawn? 

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