Many Americans lament the political divisiveness that we see throughout the country. They’re not wrong to do so; division creates conflict and fractured relationships. But the same people who wish we could all just get along are also more likely to equate political views across the spectrum.
“It’s just politics, guys. Why so upset?”
The thing is, it’s not just politics. These issues actually affect people, and the further Donald Trump pulls Republicans to the right, the more crucial all of this becomes.
It is not a coincidence that the people he harms are also dramatically more likely to oppose him. If white people couldn’t vote, the electoral map would be entirely blue every four years. Trump wants to deport Hispanics and block Muslims from entering the country. He refuses to say black lives matter and treats the ongoing protests like he’s a ’60s segregationist. He and conservatives are prepared to block LGBTQ rights and defund Planned Parenthood.
There is an instinct among people who proclaim themselves as nonpolitical to try to rein in partisans. At this point, it is irresponsible to tell the people who are negatively affected by Trump to relax. Maybe it’s hard to understand why they feel so strongly, but have empathy. Divisiveness is a price we have to be willing to pay in order to push back against racist and homophobic policies.
Politics has become a buzzword suggesting toxicity and conflict. It’s way more than that, though, and always has been. Some people may be able to go about their lives the same way regardless of who’s in office. It’s crucial to remember that other people don’t have that luxury.
(By the way: Everyone was affected by Trump’s absolutely disastrous handling of the pandemic. You were locked down for so long in the spring because Trump is completely incompetent. Trump’s monumental screwing up of the coronavirus has prevented school reopenings. Crisis makes politics real for everyone.)
Some seem to be exhausted by politics, or tired of dealing with a frantic, ever-changing news cycle. That is understandable at this point. But when you see someone on the left wing railing against Trump or pushing for change, perhaps by posting on Instagram, don’t look away. Don’t lament that all…