Column: Don’t attack political beliefs of others

Mace Mackiewicz, Staff Reporter

*This column originally was printed in the Monday Feb. 15 edition of The Daily Eastern News

The closer to election time we get the more heated debates are going to become, and it’s important to remember to keep things civil for most conversations. It’s not worth losing friends on most political arguments, and sometimes it’s worth picking your battles.

Now if someone is being homophobic, misogynistic, racist, etc. in their argument then it’s time to evaluate whether or not you want them in your life regardless of their political stances. And the sexism is definitely on both sides of the aisle.

For example, I like Bernie Sanders a lot but many of his supporters on Twitter and Reddit have taken to attacking Hillary Clinton for being an uncool girl while supporting Bernie for being a “bro” in some of the most pointless meme posts on the internet.

It’s possible to not like Clinton’s ideas on policies without also attacking her gender. It’s OK to like Sanders without having to turn him into a “bro” in your head. Ideas on whether or not they should be president shouldn’t lie on their gender but on their policies and whether or not you agree with them.

While I can’t personally stand Trump, I don’t think all of the people who like him are bigoted like he is. It is possible to have a civil discourse when discussing politics. If they, however, start saying how he is right about minorities then I won’t blame you for getting angry.

The main point is don’t hate a person based on what they identify as. And don’t burn bridges based on politics. If someone likes Hillary, and you don’t, you can agree to disagree and move on. It’s completely possible for liberals and conservatives to get along in everyday life.

When discussing politics it’s also important to avoid insulting people’s intelligence. It’s OK to challenge what someone believes in, but don’t talk down to them.

On the internet especially, it’s easy to get heated in conversations about politics both with people you know and don’t know. Sometimes the best answer is to log out of whatever social media you are using and walk away.

I used to get in fights based on politics online all the time. As I have grown up, I have removed some friends I had who hold bigoted ideas on race, sex and gender, and try to keep conversations on other issues as civil as possible.

Be a decent level headed person, and you should be OK. Choose your battles wisely and don’t talk down to people. Most importantly don’t be a bigot, and you will avoid losing friends and angering others in debates this political season.

Mace Mackiewicz is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].