Red (White) and Blue
In November of this year, the elections of the United States of America were held. It felt like a pretty divisive contest. With over 70 million votes being cast for both contestants (Trump and Biden). However, in the end, only one could prevail and it happened to be Biden.
I’m a registered Democrat, so you can say that I was “happy” about the outcome. After all, my candidate had won. Many policies that I support on a fundamental basis are also supported by the Democratic party. Stuff like abortion, health care, gay rights, and such.
My party had won. On that sunny afternoon in Saturday, I could hear clanging and screaming out from the apartments of New York City. I heard lots of happy people in Manhattan skipping down the streets, shouting at the top of their lungs, honking their horns, and just in general feeling elated.
After all, New York City is a Democrat kind of town. I think over 90% of voters voted for Democrat in the 2016 national elections. So, I was happy as well. I wasn’t exactly skipping off the walls or anything like that, but I was satisfied that my candidate had won.
It’s definitely a good feeling. But, sometimes, I try to think about what the other side feels. After all, 70+ million (and counting) people voted for Donald Trump. Does that make these people bad people? Does that mean they were disillusioned and uninformed in their vote casting? What could those people have been thinking when they voted for Trump?
This was my logic of thinking as a fellow Democrat. I couldn’t comprehend why someone would in their mind vote Trump. After all, I lived in New York City and over these past few years have had a steady dose of liberal media come my way. I was as much a product of the environment as I was of my own thinking.
I remember one of my Toastmaster colleagues had challenged us with a simple exercise in one of our prior meetings. Doesn’t matter if you are a Biden voter or a Trump voter. Just come up with 3 nice things to say about the guy from the other side. One. Two. Three. That simple. Like counting sheep in sleep.
In my mind, I thought to myself that this couldn’t be that difficult of an exercise. Just a couple of nice things about the nominee from the other party. But, to my surprise, I couldn’t find one nice thing to say about Donald Trump. Not one thing.
He cheated on his taxes. He cheated on his wife. He lies to the American people. He is a bankrupt politician. I couldn’t think of three natural good things to say about him. And that’s when I felt like I had been too much in a bubble. Living in the disillusioned reality of Democrats being the good guys and Republicans being the bad guys.
How I was conditioned that this was just the way it’s supposed to be. There are good and bad guys in this great country called the USA. But, that little part of me felt that I was being too conditioned by one side and not by the other. For whatever the reason, whether it’s because of my friends, my families, the city I grew up in, or the media I consume, I just seem to cater more towards liberal Democratic whims.
A part of me wanted to change that. A part of me wanted to see what life is like from a Republican point of view. What it’s like from a right-center perspective. After all, these people couldn’t possibly be evil or misunderstood. They had their own perception of good, and I had my different perception.
Maybe I should watch some more Fox News. Maybe I should purposefully open myself to the thinking of the right-wing media. I watch too much Trevor Noah and Stephen Colbert. Hilarious comedians that unabashedly take the position of the left-wing politicians. Maybe some more Sean Hannity or Tucker Carlson would help me freshen up my perspective.
Maybe I should talk to more friends and family members whom are Republicans - instead of just hanging in my bubble of Democratic friends. Maybe I should just be more open-minded about how everything is just perspective, and how everything is just a point of view. Simple as that.
Either way, on the Saturday morning the election was called, I was feeling “happy” and joyous listening to all the banging of pots and pans across the streets of New York City. Of course, I was. However, as the days progressed after that, I felt like a little bit of balance never hurt anybody. I should open myself to the perspective of the other.
The red side. The Republican side. The right-wing media. They couldn’t be all that bad. All that evil. And that thought still lingers on. When I watch Fox News, I admittedly feel a bit uncomfortable. After all, most of the time I hear about Fox News is from the perspective of the left-wing media. Fox News is wrong. Fox News is abhorrent. Fox News are just a bunch of misinformed journalists.
I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I think there’s a bit of truth to both the Democratic and the Republic establishment. Both policies can be seen to be reasonable if held in a centralist light. That’s why over 70 million people voted for Trump. And over 70 million people voted for Biden. The policies hold sway for both sides.
So, I don’t see why we can’t just be more open-minded. Be a little more empathetic to see the other people’s point of view. Whether we are Red. Or whether we are Blue. It doesn’t matter. Just take a little time to see from the other perspective. Heck, try to think of 3 nice things to say about the other side. Just three!
Because regardless of whether we are Red. Or whether we are Blue. Our country is Red, White, and Blue. It’s all encompassing. And we should going forward be more open-minded and open to learning the other side’s perspective. This can help heal the division that has polarized much of politics these days. And help make our American society one that is truly welcoming to all.