On the most recent podcast of This American Life, the hosts interview people who have completely opposite political views from their family and friends. Talking openly about these opposing views have been met with such disdain that some of the people who they interviewed have lost friends and family members. As I listened to these stories, I couldn't help but think about the same divisiveness we have concerning religion.
I know ... it's not the middle ages. At least, in America it's not. There are news articles every other day of women and men being put to death in the Middle East for blasphemy. Those stories always trigger a response in me. Not so much because I know longer believe in a God, but, I think, because in America I have become so used to our freedom that I forget it's not like that everywhere else.
That being said, we are still very polarized. There are people I simply cannot talk to about politics or Religion. As soon as they hear that there are people that exist that don't agree with them, accusations of Nazism soon starts getting tossed around. Imagine your own family, your friends that are afraid to talk to you about what they think because of your absolute hatred for the other side.
What we need in America is to learn how to have an open dialog with others. If I could encourage people to do anything, it would be to make sure you haven't closed off your mind to listening to others. No one's saying you'll change your mind. But, the greatest freedom we have in America is the freedom to disagree with one another. If I could voice a political opinion it would be don't just follow a party line. Have a reason for each issue, and never close your mind off to listening to the opposing side. Exercise your freedom on Tuesday. Vote for what you believe in.