SALK Day 11 – Political Tolerance

Today’s sponsor is Vincent Cannizzaro, first-year law student.   He asked me to write about the lack of tolerance in politics, on both sides of the political spectrum.  People who have worked in politics or with people with strong political affiliations have seen that too often each side is quick to demonize the opposition.  For example, in the last presidential election, there was a superfluous amount of discussion about whether Obama was a Muslim or a socialist or whether McCain planned to invade Iran.  I could care less about a candidate’s religious affiliation; I care about whether they can effectively run this country and whether they share my views on major issues.  We lost valuable opportunities to discuss the actual problems in this country.

Image by glsims99 via Flickr

The majority of people who hold political office have a strong dedication to being public servants and they have care deeply about this country’s future.  Most of them are intelligent people with good intentions (even the Tea Party members and fanatics).  If we could get past the political labels and stereotypes and actually have discussions about problems facing this country and potential solutions, something good might come about.

One thing that I find particularly bothersome is people who only vote along party lines without considering each candidate’s platform.  They’re voting without fully participating in the democratic process.  I respect that people have issues where the candidate they vote for must agree with them whether it’s national health care, social security, abortion, gay marriage, etc.  What I don’t understand is people who won’t take the time to at least read about each candidate on the ballot but simply vote for whoever is affiliated with their party.  I think a lot of people do not want to accept that the parties are often not that different anymore, and will simply turn their back on a message that is different from their own instead of engaging in conversation to at least hear what the other side’s goals are and ideas for achieving them.

In politics, as in all aspects of life, please make your decisions based on knowledge and not on assumptions.  Talk to people and practice tolerance.  Have conversations with people who have different views.  See if you have a mutual goal and correct any inaccuracies as they come up.  Please remember that when you disagree with someone, it does not mean that they are an enemy or evil.  Disagreeing does not necessarily mean that the other side is the enemy.  They just have a different point of view.

Sponsor A Law Kid is my endeavor to pay for my last semester of law school. Today’s sponsor is Vincent Cannizzaro. For more information about Sponsor A Law Kid or to see what days are still available for sponsorship, visit my Sponsor A Law Kid page.

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