Republicans are not your enemy. They do not live in some faraway place. In fact, many Republicans live in your neighborhood, city, and state. Some of your friends, your neighbors, and your family are Republicans. They go to your house of worship, shop at the same stores you do, and are fans of the same sports teams you support.
Political ideologies are often derived from a variety of factors. Someone’s political ideology is likely a mix of their own personality, what they were taught as a child, and what they learned later in life. Life experiences, like personalities, are different for everyone and can lead people to take different political positions. Just because someone takes a political position different from you, does not make them evil or your enemy.
Does the Republican in your book club really want to destroy the country? How about your Republican neighbor who loves to spend time with his grandkids, is he really your enemy? Of course not. If you begin to feel hate and fear towards others in our country, it is time to turn off the TV, go for a walk, and talk to your neighbors.
In today’s polarized political climate, the battle for votes leads some Americans to view their opponents through a carnival mirror lens, believing them to be something that they are not. Being Republican does not make one racist, being racist makes one a racist. When political opponents are seen as evil caricatures, they can be more easily dismissed without the hard work of engaging difficult ideas or changing minds.
Is it fair to judge an entire group of people from what is shown on cable news? To understand a group to which you do not belong, you must first avoid the tendency to judge the group by their worst examples. Darth Vader may wear boots, but that does not mean that every person who wears boots is Darth Vader.
Just because someone doesn’t support Medicare-for-all, or the Green New Deal, does not mean that they hate people or the planet. Often , people have perfectly logical and reasonable arguments for holding certain policy positions. The only way for you to find out, is to ask.
You may disagree with their policies, you may disagree with the president, but disagreeing or even strongly disapproving of Republican policies or leaders does not make Americans belonging to the Republican party your enemy.
The presidential election is getting closer. We can expect that fear mongering and division will continue on TV, online, and even in person. We, regardless of our party, should be smarter than to fall into traps, goading us to believe that our fellow Americans are our enemies. We live in the United States of America, and we must do our part to keep it united.