As we come closer and closer to the election it is almost impossible to avoid politics. They’re in the news, they’re in social media, and unfortunately they’ve made their way into our conversations. I’m not saying that students shouldn’t have political opinions but I personally believe that political beliefs are a personal subject rather than a point of conversation. I have witnessed several people get into heated arguments and even go as far to cut each other off over their ideologies. All of this is completely excluding the fact that we can’t even vote yet. Now again, I can’t stress enough that it is important to have political beliefs as that is a part of the founding ideology that America is built on. However, it is taken a step too far when we judge each other based on such futile things. Besides, most young people’s opinions are rarely their own, instead they are just influenced by their household and current media. It is pretty hard for a kid to have a stance on taxes and college tuition when they have yet to experience either. In conclusion, I think it is perfectly fine to have political opinions and even express them from time to time but in general, we shouldn’t judge each other for our views and we should respect each other.
Recently, it’s become more difficult to view politics as merely a matter of personal opinion as it seeps more and more into people’s identities and as the stakes get higher and higher. Social media has also facilitated the sharing of political opinions, and has also facilitated conflict. I feel that this is a natural thing and should be embraced and accepted. Understanding that politics, while to some is merely just a matter of personal preference, they are to others a battleground for their quality of life. For example, the feeling that a student whose family relies on government benefits might have when another student says that those who rely on benefits are lazy isn’t something that can easily be brushed off as merely some insignificant difference in opinions. Acting as if people our age aren’t personally affected by politics to the point where they can form their own opinions is dismissive to those whose lives can be altered drastically by something like a presidential election. As bad as it may feel to lose a friend due to a political opinion, it’s important to understand why that friend might find the opinion intolerable. More often than not, the differing opinions might be a lot more personal than at first glance. Conflict and discussion is very important to be able to understand each other, and it’s important to respect the boundaries of what others feel is and isn’t ok.