The Personal is Political

Today is voting day. It’s been a whirlwind these last few months. One can’t even turn on their TV without watching political ads bashing either opponent at every commercial break. The Facebook debates on friend’s timelines arguing with each other is a daily occurrence. When you travel to work or even the movies political signs are everywhere. There are times when we can keep the personal and political separate but this isn’t one of those times. For many people, the essence of who they are is not just called into question but demonized and made “other”.

When the political feels so personal as it does now, it’s hard to understand when people are voting for and following politicians that you may vehemently disagree with. But what will be important to our interpersonal relationships and also as a country come Wednesday, is how we see and respect the humanity within each of us even when we don’t understand each other.

I think this audio clip from NPR is a great example of it. It’s a tale as old as time: Father is conservative and the daughter is liberal. The daughter starts the talk by saying that she tries not to talk about politics with her father. As the clip goes on, she realizes that the reason her father asks her questions about her views is because he wants to genuinely hear her side. Although he doesn’t agree with her most of the time, he respects her.

The people of America will not always agree with each other. We can see that with today’s Presidential Election. Although we don’t always agree with our best friend from high school or our next door neighbor, we can still respect the humanity within every human being.  

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Photo Credit: NBC News

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