Photo Credit John Minchillo/AP
January 20th, 2017 was a very memorable day for our country. This was the inauguration of our 45th President Donald J Trump. Throughout the last year there has been much contention among both the democratic and republican parties in regards to the election. We all have our different points of view on the candidates as well as the new president. One thing we all have in common through these differences is that we are American and we are proud of our country. We are thankful for our military members that make sacrifices to ensure our freedom, and we are thankful for the military families who support our soldiers.
Regardless whether you are for or against President Trump, we can all unite in knowing that we are striving to make America better. My personal hope is that under President Trump we can start to repair our country. Each one of us has views on ways we can improve the country. The best way to achieve our goals is to work together. I personally have never been black and white about politics especially when there is so much gray to it all. I’m not republican, democratic, conservative, independent, I am just me: An American citizen hoping for the best for myself and my family.
So what do you do if you have a friend who is adamantly against your political views? The simplest answer is to talk them. Allow them to have their opinions just as you have yours. The better answer in my opinion is to educate them. I think by understanding the dynamics of someone’s belief, it then allows you to see what motivates them to feel the way they do. Sometimes the simplest way to tame a fire is to simply water it down. Breaking down the barriers of communication and explaining each other’s reasoning, can help to resolve conflict.
How about politics in the workplace? All of us have been witness to that one person in the workplace who has to talk about politics. Though it should not necessarily put a bad taste in our mouths, it ultimately leads to disagreements, hurt feelings, and lack of comradery. My personal opinion is not to talk politics at work, some people may make it an unavoidable topic. If you have an employer is very vocal with their political views and perhaps those views do not match your own, like you would with your friends, you can talk to them. I suggest the best way to talk politics in the workplace is to do so one on one. By talking to someone one on one you can continue the conversation in privacy or you can politely tell them you are not comfortable having such a conversation. Though it seems very intimidating to tell someone you do not want to talk about something, it is the best way to let someone know that you are not wanting to engage in conversations that make you uncomfortable.
Family and politics. This one is the hardest to avoid and the easiest to offend. Each family has their own political views and as if it were a family reunion of sorts, when you all get together someone is bound to argue. You love your family, most of them anyways. I’m joking of course. Yes, we love our families. So you can banter with them over politics sure, but you know that one uncle will keep grinding at your political standing until you practically fall. As many parents do in situations they want to avoid, we employ kid cuteness. I am very guilty of switching subjects that I am not comfortable or prefer to avoid with talk about my kids. Even better are the times my kids are present and they instantly distract all family members. If you do not have kids, perhaps you have pets. The conversation of pets is a simple talking point that often can pull away from the awkward donkey and elephant speeches.
I know I am mentioning ways to handle political conversation but there is one area I did not talk about. One that is vital to the survival of Democracy. A right that each individual possesses through the freedom we have as Americans. This right is the power to have a voice. If you don’t vote in Presidential elections I highly suggest you employ that right. Especially for women, we haven’t always had the ability to vote. Voting alone does not change the country. You know what can help change the country? Writing. Write to your senators, write to your state representatives. Create petition, get signatures. These things can make a greater impact that you believe. If you have a topic of change and you were able to have your entire town sign the petition, it would be heard. One voice can be quiet but effective, many voices can be sirens, screaming change.
Whether you are a lefty or a righty, not speaking of hands of course. Whether you are ambidextrous in your politics. Let’s come together as a country. Let’s unite to spread change and encourage positive conversation. If we all come together, our voice will be louder than any other. I have no doubt America is great and will always be great. That greatness comes for each citizen. Politics aside, let’s make 2017 a year of memorable change and unification.