In America’s two-party system, everyone has to choose one side or the other. That divisiveness is false. Not every issue can be black or white or blue or red, but it’s painted that way. We’re forced to pick a side when, in most cases, we’re almost all in agreement or there are more than two perspectives.
Ultimately, one of those teams will lose. It’s what we do in the aftermath of the debates and attack ads that matters. As sportsmanship dictates, supporters on either side of the spectrum should be gracious winners and humbled losers. If the idea that we can’t play fair with someone who disagrees with us continues after the election, progress can’t be made.
It’s important to remember, too, that differences in opinion aren’t necessarily a bad thing. “And since you’re walking into the middle of a presidential election, it’s worth mentioning that you’re too good to think people who disagree with you are your enemy,” screenwriter Aaron Sorkin told a group of Syracuse University graduates during a commencement speech.
His sentiment is good to keep in mind as November draws nearer. Several news outlets reported neighborhoods, families and even marriages divided by the gubernatorial recall election in Wisconsin. Let that be a lesson to us that differences in opinion need not be met with hostility, but with curiosity.
It’s better to question and attempt to understand the opinions of others than to shut them out. Being surrounded by people who will challenge your beliefs in all matters personal, professional and political will help you see different perspectives and make more informed opinions of your own.