Wake Up America

It’s time to realize an opposing opinion isn’t wrong


If you are pro-life, you hate women.

If you are pro-choice, you hate babies.

If you want to have strict borders, you hate immigrants.

If you want open borders, you want crime.

This is common jargon between supporters of the separate political parties.

Even though political dissent has always been around, the type of divisiveness we see in American politics today hasn’t been seen since the 1960s and 1970s with the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement.

This type of political polarization is due to an uncompromising mindset, stemming from political campaigning. When Americans are told in a campaign by influential politicians that one side is correct and that is the only correct answer, many people will believe it. This leads to the inability to listen to the dissenting argument without shutting it down before the argument is even presented.

“We are in a national environment where that [compromise] is getting harder and harder. Parties stake out these polarized positions from one another and agreeing with something that somebody on the other side agrees with makes people have allergic reactions. Understand that it isn’t just my way or the highway, and the people who operate that way build a lot of enemies,” said Democratic state representative Maria Horn.

Another issue that leads to political polarizations is the media and news networks. Many news networks like Fox News and CNN only cover one side of the political aisle. For example, conservative news station Fox News made multiple false claims supporting the “stolen election” narrative spread by former president Donald Trump. While on the more liberal news network of CNN, false narratives were pressed about Russian collusion with the then Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

So, how should Americans start to become less divisive? Well, that starts by realizing your opinions aren’t the only correct ideas. They are merely just your personal beliefs. There are many different belief systems within the U.S. electorate. The U.S. population of 331.9 million is diverse and full of different types of people and opinions.

How can the average American begin the process of realizing opposing opinions aren’t wrong? We can start seeking out meaningful conversations with people of the opposite political party.

“Truly listen, don’t just wait for your turn to speak. There’s a technique . . . mirroring, which is, try to understand what they’re saying, even if you don’t agree with them. Let them know you understand it (the opposing opinion) by mirroring it back to them by saying ‘what I think you’re saying to me is this’. . . People want to be heard and understood, and not dismissed,” Horn said.

When you listen to another person’s belief, you hear the opinion of someone who has had different life experiences and has lived life through a different lens. Listening will open you up to opportunities not of argument, but of simple conversations with someone who has a different train of thought.

When it comes to your next conversation with someone who has a differing opinion, make sure to first, take a deep breath, second, listen, and third, respectfully share your opinion. It’s that simple.