Election results are in. While President Donald Trump challenges the results, it seems fairly apparent that former Vice President Joe Biden will take the oath of office in January.
This election season has seen extreme divisiveness that stems largely from the unrelenting support or distrust of Trump.
The president’s supporters praise him for his economic policies and his “tell it like it is” manner of speaking. They see him as a welcome change in Washington, which they see as being run by establishment, career politicians.
For many, the 2016 election was a way to “drain the swamp,” or to hold the Washington politicians accountable. This mentality continued into this election, with the president facing another life-long politician.
In the anti-Trump camp, critiques of the president’s long history of misogyny, racist comments and elitist behavior are as ever present this year as they were in 2016.
Commonly brought up are inappropriate comments Trump has made about his daughter, saying “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’ d be dating her.”
Biden supporters are fueled against the president’s hateful rhetoric when it comes to women, minorities, and the LGBTQ+ community.
These feelings toward the candidates bleed into how people feel about one another.
Trump supporters, who often oppose mass student loan forgiveness, may view Biden supporters as “lazy” people looking for handouts.
Biden supporters, who are often opposed to the criminalization of marijuana, may view Trump supporters who are against legalization as “uneducated” people looking for mass incarceration.
This divide in our society has caused hatred to be the fuel of our entire political world. Republicans hate Democrats, so therefore anything they say must be wrong, and vice versa.
So where do we go from here?
We cannot forget that the person who supports the opposite candidate doesn’t necessarily support the opposite of all of your beliefs.
There is a reason why everyone has their beliefs. Their own life experiences led them to the ballot box, just the same as your life experience led you.
So talk to one another. Talking to people with the same belief system as you is toxic to your own growth. Ask people who differ from you why they think that, and politely explain yourself to them.
We must not be afraid of the opposing opinion. We must welcome it. If we don’t, then we will continue to drift away from one another, which can only lead to more hatred.