Division is certainly not a new concept in the United States. Topics such as abortion, immigration, feminism, racism, and other human rights cases are not recent developments in the division of the “indivisible”. Since President Trump’s election in 2016, however, these and many other issues have become drastically more polarizing than we have seen in recent years. Regardless of political affiliations, people have not only begun to declare political opinions where they may have taken a more indifferent approach before, but they have asserted these opinions in a very dynamic way. It is almost impossible to not have an opinion on any one of the major political issues we are faced with, without seeming completely apathetic. Once an opinion is formed, in many cases, it is catapulted into intense perceived enthusiasm, due to the extensive and inevitable opposition. This results in a kind of “faux passion,” where we are forced to be passionate about something we may not entirely understand. We don’t have much opportunity to fully understand it because, once an issue is presented, we must take one side or another and be ready to defend it. Pride and the threat of hypocrisy make it difficult to change views, even if new information sparks a change in perspective. Furthermore, once you have an opinion, you will be automatically fused with whichever political party’s views coincides with your own. Unfortunately, this leaves very little room to understand each other on a deeper level and creates a breeding-ground for snap-judgments and assumptions, making it impossible to be united on any one thing, much less as a country. Beliefs are becoming less able to be mix-and-matched, resulting with everyone either being on your side, or the opposing side. Even if someone on an opposing side was to say something you would otherwise agree with, it is less valid because of the “side” they are on. Rather than opinions being formed on facts and true values we hold, we form opinions through our religions (or lack of), our friends, our schools, our families, and situations that rarely embody the issue as a whole, and just hope that someone of importance comes along and validates our beliefs with what is presented as facts so we can cite it when defending them, without finding out how accurate those “facts” are. Ultimately, we are forgetting the beautiful thing about not only being American, but human: being able to be who we are, the infinite possible versions of people there are, and the ability to change our minds and hearts whenever we feel it is appropriate. The main ingredients for a united people are disappearing at an alarming rate: compassion, mutual-understanding, critical thinking, acceptance, and the desire to love others in the most basic ways. The reason why President Trump’s election has so drastically aided in the deterioration of unity in America is different depending on who you ask, but it is no different than why one political party hates another. In this case, the political parties’ extreme support or opposition is driving the “faux passion” up to levels in which reason and any hope of reconciliation among the people is becoming more unattainable every day.
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