Politics doesn’t have to be hard

James McCarley , Copy Editor

Politics is one of those topics that almost always results in conflict. Whenever I’ve talked to anyone about politics, almost every time their first question is, “What are you?” What they really mean is, “Which party do you belong to?” Unfortunately, no matter what I say, I will always have to explain and, usually, defend myself. This is because I don’t agree 100 percent with either party, and I don’t know anyone, Democrat or Republican, who agrees with all of their party’s decisions. But no matter what I say, I am either with that individual or against them, all because of my “party affiliation.”

Being a part of a political party can sometimes do more harm than good. No matter what party you affiliate with, people will always assume you agree with everything that party believes in. This really frustrates me, because neither party is perfect. In fact, both the Republican and Democratic parties are flawed in many ways. There have been many times where elected officials from both parties haven’t listened to their constituents or done what was right.

One reason why individuals choose one party over the other is because they believe that party will have their best interests in mind. But, for example, there are 5 million people living in South Carolina. Even though an individual might support a specific party, a South Carolina representative isn’t thinking about you when they make a decision or vote. They’re, hopefully, trying to make the best decision(s) for all South Carolinians, and sometimes that might not be what is best for you.

Another reason why someone might choose to be a Republican or a Democrat is because of personal values, or beliefs. One person might care more about being environmentally friendly, and another might pay more attention to immigration problems. Neither is wrong for caring about one issue more than the other, because everyone is different, and we will all make different choices. So the individual will “join” whichever party they feel is concerned with those issues they believe are more important. However, no matter which party you choose, there will always be something with the party that you disagree with.

It might be a normal reaction to be hostile toward someone who doesn’t agree with you, but it isn’t the right one. Everyone is different for a reason, and no one, or a political party, will agree with you on every topic. That’s why I think it’s important to never judge anyone based on their party affiliation. Because someone is a Democrat of a Republican doesn’t mean that they’re good or bad.

America is not a perfect country, even though some people might think it is. However, it can become better if everyone isn’t judged because of the political party they choose. This doesn’t mean that everyone has to change their beliefs or values to fit everyone else’s. Having different beliefs, values and ideas are important. They make us unique.   

So the next time you talk about politics with a friend or a family member, try and be open-minded. No one will agree with everything you believe in, and that’s ok. Even if you think they’re hopelessly wrong, don’t let that affect your relationship. Having friends who don’t always agree with you is important, and destroying a friendship because of politics is never right.