Election Challenges Political Discourse

How polarization has altered conversation between parties

Ryker Kemberling, Contributing Writer

Today’s political climate is dominated by polarized opinions surrounding everything from foreign policy to minority rights, making it essential for people to understand how to respectfully discuss opposing political viewpoints. When discussing politics the main goal is to obtain an understanding of someone’s belief rather than to argue whether someone’s opinion is “right or wrong.”

Humans are naturally emotional creatures, making it easy for someone to feel attacked when their thoughts or morals are challenged. In order to properly con- verse there should be some rules established.

The first rule is to never assume that some- one supports all of the actions and beliefs associated with a political figure or party. People usually disagree with at least one thing from their preferred political figure, and the point of elections is for individuals to choose which candidate resonates with them the most. When someone assumes another’s political beliefs, it can become difficult for the person to accept the other’s beliefs with the preconceptions of that party in mind.

The second rule of discussion is to allow a person you’re discussing with to fully explain their reasoning behind an opinion. Many times when someone has a negative opinion, listening to someone else’s reasoning allows one to better understand opposing political ideals. Someone may still disagree with another person’s belief, but refusing to listen to them perpetuates political polarization.

The final rule for facilitating political discussions is finding common ground. Today’s political climate is very polarized; however, to accomplish any form of order, there needs to be compromise.

For hundreds of years, the United States has survived due to the people’s ability to compromise, however when compromise fails nobody wins. When these three rules are kept in mind they not only allow people with different political beliefs to better understand each other, but also work to close the gap between polar ideologies.