I’m sure I’m not the only one who has seen those memes circulating social media that go something like, “actually, political stances are a person’s philosophy. So therefore, if you vote against me, you’re against me in every respect.”
Now while this is correct in saying that a great deal of thought and evaluation can go into establishing some sort of political stance, an individual’s personal philosophy and where they stand politically can still slightly differ.
Politics is all about making concessions, even with the people who agree with you. Since policies and legislation are what have influence over the lives of Americans, it’s recognized that everyone’s idealized reality is not exactly possible.
So we vote on “blanket policies;” taking whatever we can benefit from, from the legislation that is passed.
This especially holds true in regards to those we disagree with. We live in a Democracy, a society that prioritizes the needs of the many over the needs of the few, whatever is agreed upon by the most people, wins. Yes, this system is imperfect and unfair, as it easily ignores voices and plights of minorities and those not acknowledged by politicians, simply because everything had to become relatively homogenous, and anything too novel or not understood was ignored.
And this is my point. Just because someone voted for a candidate who is associated with bigotry and the like, doesn’t make them bigots by having voted for him. Their vote may or may not be warranted or justifiable to some, but everyone has a reason as to why they voted a particular way.
As mentioned earlier, “blanket policies” play a role in decision-making. Although a Trump voter may have been disgusted by things that he said or did, they may have still voted for him for economic reasons. Many small business owners voted for Trump, for instance, and while these business owners may be fiscally conservative and socially liberal, their livelihood (and the livelihood of their families) depends on the business, and therefore, the economic policies. Don’t hate people for wanting to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads.
This most recent election was far different from any previous election in United States history. One of the things that made it so different, was that a lot of voters settled for a candidate they didn’t want to win. I have plenty of Republican friends who despised Trump, who ended up voting for him because he was the most beneficial of the two options. And a lot of people on the left disliked Hillary. It was a case of party allegiance over anything, which is another issue in it of itself.
No one can vote on individual policies. But we can change politicians’ minds once they’re sworn in. If we truly care about something, we can change how things are done. Enough pointing fingers at other citizens. No one completely agrees with you, except yourself. Stop encouraging divisiveness. We want to create a more harmonious world, and to do that, we need to be civil and level-headed, and most importantly, open-minded.