Political differences haven’t always caused such division between Americans. In recent history, Democrats and Republicans could debate ideas without hating each other. If two individuals disagreed on politics and social values, they simply believed the other person was wrong on certain issues, but still worthy of respect.
Americans Are Becoming More Divided
Unfortunately, a recent study shows that the impact of political differences has worsened over the years. The College Fix, a news site related to university students, conducted a poll analyzing the attitudes of pupils when it comes to politics. The survey asked 1,000 college students whether they believed members of the opposite political party were “not just worse for politics,” but “basically evil.”
The poll showed that 37% of Democratic students believed Republicans were “essentially evil.” On the other side, 39% of Republicans viewed Democrats the same way. Even scarier, 7% of Democrats and 8% of Republicans believed it was acceptable to use violence to enforce their political opinions.
What Does This Mean?
The nation’s political environment appears increasingly divided. Many Americans are judging others more harshly based on which party they support. It is perhaps the reason we have seen several examples of political violence over the past five years.
In 2017, a Democrat attempted to murder Republican members of Congress at a baseball game. Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) almost died after being shot. In the same year, a white nationalist killed a protester in Charlottesville, Virginia, when he drove his car into a crowd of protesters.
Politics has always been an emotional topic for many, but Americans have, from time to time, found ways to bridge the gap. The truth is that the vast majority of Americans wish to make the country better; they just don’t agree on how that should be done.
By focusing on areas where we can agree, we may figure out how to disagree without hating each other.