Political discourse has a hand in my friendship making growing up


My best friends, who may not always agree with me, yet respect me nonetheless.

My opinion of someone consists of a lot of different facets. Their attitude, interests, and mainly how they make me feel when I am around them. Now, revisit my list and find their political agenda. Oh wait, you cannot; it is not there.

While I have only been alive a mere few elections, and a relevant intellectual in terms of politics for even fewer—maybe not even one for how many intellectuals in terms of politics actually exist—it is important to me to have established some sort of belief system in politics. Yes, it is subject to change as I grow up and am exposed to issues and perspectives I have been blind to or shielded from in the past, but I think that is a major characteristic in the world of politics, and if your belief system is untouchable, you become ignorant. Eyes with blinders are not equal eyes. 

Now, to end this leadup of context I have created, I want to discuss my point. The issue is, I can’t quite establish one. This is because the issue I am examining—as all aspects of politics—is multifaceted, and its roots grow deep below the surface. 

I am sick of the extremes fighting against each other, not for each other.

Here is my thing: I know that not many people agree with every belief that I have; I would go as far as to argue that no one person shares all of my opinions at all. Political discourse is what the foundation of democracy is built upon. If we all agreed, this type of law would be needless. I can believe what I want, and you can believe what you want. 

I believe that the point of controversy relishes in this very system we have built as it creates two types of people: those who flaunt and advertise their opinions and those who hide them in fear of retaliation (a middleman exists of course, but like most things American, I choose to exemplify the extremes). 

Ideological conflicts tend to boil down to these obsessive philosophical arguments, and from what I have seen, I find we have the most discourse in the mediation of these issues; those that reside in the gray areas, not the black or white. When it comes down to it, they are opinions, simply statements of the mind. As wrong as I may think you are, who am I to attest your mind? The conflict and battle get so obscure and ambiguous we forget what we are fighting for and remember only who we are fighting against. Putting down the other side is seen as promotion rather than simply backing our own statements. When it comes to solely defensive, is a claim truly defensible?

So, here I am again, trying to convey my point, and as you have just read my internal dialect in arriving at this abstract conclusion, I wonder if you had any grasp of where I have been going.

I am sick of the extremes fighting against each other, not for each other. Democracy shows that we do not have to be each other’s enemies, and without political discourse, there is no growth; however, we have morphed this system into a truly ugly figure. 

I cannot sit behind my computer screen and pretend I don’t have a bias towards certain political standpoints; I attempt not to be that naive. It’s hard for me to even make myself believe what I am saying because hard as a try, I am riddled with judgment—as are all of us. However, I don’t believe it’s necessarily one’s beliefs that make them good or bad, but the objective behind them. Before this statement is attacked and countered with as extreme cases as mass genocides or civilizing missions of the past—the obvious extreme form of argument we all rely on—please, put it in the perspective of a 16-year-old who cannot vote. As long as you can grant me respect and treat me as a person, then I will do the same for you. 

When I choose my acquaintances and assess potential new friendships, I shouldn’t have to mind political interests because, behind that interest, they should be doing what they believe is better for the greater good. Whilst I may not agree with how they intend to go about it, I choose to judge one’s intentions, not views, because who is to say I am right or wrong?