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As 2020 Approaches, Let’s All Evaluate What “Political Intolerance” Is All About

Political intolerance is an epidemic during the election season. The impeachment process will only agitate an already unpleasant year on social media and dinners with the whole family.

Historically, America has always been a two-party system regardless of Alexander Hamilton and James Madison’s warnings about the dangers of parties.

The two-party system is present in almost all modern Democracies. A democracy is “a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.”

How Does Our Government System Effect Us Now?
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A two party-system means there is always going to be a natural tension between the two different parties.

Bu this tension is nothing new. Before it was the modern-day Democrats and Republicans, five waves of two-party systems existed in America.

First, existed the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans.

Second, after the splintering of the Democratic-Republican Party, the Whig Party grew from the National Republican Party and the Democratic Party arose.

Third, there was the anti-slavery Republican Party led by Abraham Lincoln and the opposing Democratic Party.

Fourth, from 1896 to 1932, the same two parties dominated. But, there were major shifts in the central issues of debate.

Fifth, the Republicans and the New Deal Coalition Democrats led by President Franklin D. Roosevelt dominated.

Since the 1930s the parties remained the same. However, the Democrats have positioned themselves towards liberalism while conservatives dominate the Republican party.

This effects us because regardless of your political views, not everyone in the country is going to agree with you. And that’s okay.

More often than not, its a difference of perception and life experiences that cause our disagreements, not moral deficiencies.

Do You See What I See?

We’ve all seen pictures with two different images present like the one above. What we haven’t seen before is the dehumanization of people who don’t see what we see. While political tactics, cartoons, and debates are nothing new, recent intolerance of political differences and dehumanization via social media and news bias is a disturbing trend.

It’s disturbing because emotional intelligence (EQ) and how you treat people matters more than being right.

It’s also not inherently new or shocking that there are two parties. The tension between the two parties has existed since America’s beginning. People disagree in this country; there’s about a 50/50 split on the major issues we haven’t resolved yet, hence the two parties.

Therefore, political intolerance and dehumanization isn’t logical.

But, many people, from both major parties, independents, and third-parties, have grown intolerant of people who they perceive disagree with them.

As my friend, fellow tech lawyer and Star Wars nerd, and Grit Daily’s very own Editor-At-Large, Andrew Rossow and I recently discussed — it doesn’t matter what political leanings you have — what matters is you have friends across the political spectrum and the ability to listen, learn and agree-to-disagree. If you lack that ability, you are part of the problem. Period.

Lessons From Kindergarten
Source: Depositphotos

One of the first social lessons of Kindergarten is to ask your friend what their favorite color is, listen, and then graciously accept it if their favorite color is not the same as yours. Being offended when someone disagrees politically means you have not learned this Kindergarten lesson.

In all fairness, political issues often center around vital issues like human rights, the economy, and taxes. So, there’s a lot more reason to get upset by disagreements.

But, if you have not mastered Kindergarten EQ and get angry when someone seeing the same situation, be it a presidential debate or impeachment proceeding, does not see what you see – work on social skills first.

Worry about being right about politics later.

Your vote counts just as much if you aren’t arguing with people or posting politically on social media.

So, it’s time we all ask ourselves, as the 2020 election season begins —

“Am I intolerant of people who disagree with me?”