If you had to choose between being an uneducated and heartless racist or being an overly emotional and terrorist loving snowflake, which would you pick? I’m sure most of you knew automatically what I meant by that sentence, and probably even chose your corresponding side. If you don’t believe in accepting people for who they are and can’t open your eyes to see what’s directly in front of you, then you must be a liberal. If you are against anyone with a different mindset and are overly self-righteous, then you’re clearly a conservative.
These stereotypes are running rampant in the media today. It’s become almost easy to dub an individual with one of the harshities mentioned above when discussions such as government leaders, women’s rights, issues of race, etc. ensue. These aren’t only everyday hot topics, but easy ways to end friendships and start Facebook riots. These generalizations have become an accepted part of our society.
Whether you’re on the right or the left, you’ve been given one of these stigmas. No one on the political and social spectrum is immune to the verbal and typed lashings of the world today. Yet, for some reason, society is fine with owning up to and continuing to use the slurs and negative comments thrown around about opposing views. But, why?
Why are we as individuals owning up to being called heartless? Terrorist lovers? And why are we ourselves allowing these stigmas to become our views of the opposite side? So many are die hard over their views to the point that a middle ground of understanding doesn’t seem reasonable anymore. You’re either left or you’re right. The middle is a murky area of individuals who can be seen as flaky, uncaring, or simply too scared to choose a path. But what if those in the middle have it right?
I’m not saying abandon your views – everyone is welcome to and should have their own opinions. I admire those who are unashamed in their beliefs in a respectful and non-threatening manner, whether they match mine or not. I’m saying we take back our views from these verbal lashings. When we accept the negative connotations given to ours or another’s views, we’re allowing them to be unquestioned – we are letting them become part of us.
Instead of believing the worst of one another, we should hold tight to our beliefs and finally meld in the center. Whether you’re Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, or a little bit of both, the point of standing in the middle is to stop the fighting. End the harassment of college Republicans on liberal arts campuses. Finish the stigma that being a liberal means your opinions in this political time don’t matter. Having a differing opinion doesn’t make you, or the opposing individual, wrong. It’s time we as a nation begin to understand that.
If we start listening to each other, then maybe we can start understanding the motives on the other side. Those in the middle aren’t unsure of their beliefs – they’re the individuals who have taken the time to hear out both sides and see each point of view. Just because you may not agree with another’s line of reasoning, doesn’t mean there isn’t meaning and logic behind it.
If we cease owning up to the stigmas that accompany each side, maybe we can meet in the middle and start making things happen.
It would be better than arguing and discrediting one another to the point of all parties being unsatisfied. Though these stereotypes have come about based on those who cannot maturely discuss these types of topics, it’s up to those who know and understand what’s happening in our world today to not let this continue. All individuals who share a belief should not suffer for the few who cannot provide reasonable evidence to their methods.
If we take back our beliefs and begin to become more accepting of one another, we can truly start trying to end the distance on both sides. Don’t own up to someone deeming you heartless. Don’t take pride in being called ignorant. And never do the same to someone else. It’s time we start meeting in a happy medium – whether you’re right or left, we’re all people. We all want what’s best for our world, even if we don’t necessarily agree on how that will happen. So no more stigmas. No more hatred. It’s time to meet in the middle and agree to disagree, because maybe then we can start to see the other side a little clearer. Maybe we can make things better.
Featured Image via NY Daily News.