They’re All Crazy: Parallel Worlds in Politics


Picture by Cody Wilson

In today’s tense political environment, it is undeniable that there is a wide divide within the country. Each big news outlet declares the others to be stupid or crazy, once-peaceful protests have devolved into senseless mobs of anger, and political debates are the best reality TV since The Hunger Games.

How could this happen? Reasons have been given by both ends of the political spectrum. Liberal media constantly accuses the right of racism, homophobia, bigotry, and closed mindedness until the words have lost all meaning. Likewise, the conservative media returns insults when they are criticised, parroting the claims of racism and oppression once exclusive to the left.

They are crying in unison. The world has become one giant circle of Breitbart vs. Buzzfeed and shows no signs of slowing down.

Nobody on either side knows what the other side is thinking. It is as if they think that everyone (except those they agree with, of course) is living in a parallel world where up is down and right is wrong.

Failure to empathize and understand others can be seen even on an individual level.

Let’s make something clear: No one thinks they are the bad guy. No one wants to be evil. No one does what they think is wrong, and everyone has a reason to stand for what they think is right.

Your average feminist is not a man-hating, haughty, entitled 16-year-old girl. In California, we know this. But we must also recognize that your average Trump supporter isn’t a perpetually angry, bigoted, idiotic racist either.

The polarization and the extreme sides the media takes on current issues makes it seem like these people make up the majority of “the other side.” Democrats all seem to be bus-driving hippies, and Republicans all seem to be uneducated racists that lack moral compasses.

People aren’t like that. The world isn’t like that. The “other side,” whatever that means to you, cannot be swayed by angry Twitter comments and refusal to conduct constructive dialogue. If any progress is going to be made, it must begin with an understanding between sides. Everybody has a reason for what they do. Whether the reason is good or not can be debated, but the point must remain in the forefront of our minds.

Every human being on this planet, from your most stereotypical, ultra-progressive tumblr-using gender studies graduate to the most hillbilly, small-town, deep South, hard-line alt-righter, has a story. There are reasons why they believe what they think is right and why it is important to them.

So, next time, when you are about to kill someone over supporting (insert presidential candidate of choice), remember to breath and take a walk in their shoes. When someone holds an opinion that opposes your own, instead of screaming “How could you?!”, try getting to the real root of the issue and ask, “Why do you?”

You may just learn something new.