TEDy: Division subtracts from discussion

I am afraid to share my opinion on Brett Kavanaugh. Whenever I voice my opinion, half of my friends hate me. Kavanaugh’s hearing truly demonstrates that we, as a country, are too quick to categorize, rather than discuss, political opinions.

Are you more left leaning or more right leaning? I believe that this commonly asked question should never be asked. Those who do are simplifying opinions into two categories, looking to instantly form judgments about another person. This one question automatically places people on one side of the political spectrum for every issue. You’re a Democrat? You must hate Kavanaugh. The same applies when reversed: You’re on Kavanaugh’s side? You must be conservative.

In modern America, politics is an all-or-nothing affair. People just don’t have the patience to consider your individual choices and mindset, so they assume that you support, in its entirety, the platform of the political party you associate with the most. This is ridiculous.

Personally, I would say I am neither left or right leaning, a centrist perhaps. However, at DBHS, I have no choice but to be categorized as an ultra-conservative fascist who would give my life for President Trump, simply because I do not agree with every radical ideal of the Democratic party.

Our community is a demonstration of how political polarization in America has grown so rapidly. People around us are constantly pushing us toward one extreme of the political spectrum. Community influences exemplify this by punishing ones who do not conform to the standard of either completely Democratic or Republican.

 For example, if one is a conservative at Diamond Bar, they lose friends, respect, and the dignity of standing up for beliefs because they go against the accepted norm.

With each party insisting that the other is wrong, especially on today’s media, it’s no wonder many refuse to see from other points of view. It’s also no wonder why people push their peers toward the ends of the political spectrum: they want them to join the “correct” side.

This makes it hard to have a political debate between two members of opposite parties because the other person is considered fundamentally wrong before even speaking.

It only makes sense for these people to stay silent instead of sharing their political opinions. When I say anything slightly conservative, I receive genuine gasps and looks of disbelief like I’m some kind of monster. Conversely, my friends with any right-wing beliefs view the majority of DBHS as raving liberal lunatics. There is no more room for productive political discussion at DBHS and in extension, America.

We need to see people as individuals rather than embodiments of their political parties. There must be acknowledgement of a middle ground.

The Diamond Bar High School community is an insight into a national problem. Instead of jumping to unchanging conclusions, we should take steps to actually listen to and hear what someone has to say.