Politics Isn’t Black And White

Elizabeth McCann/Contributing Writer

Imagine politics as a light dimmer switch that you slide rather than flip up and down. The political parties and its loyal supporters want you to believe politics is like a light switch that only has an on and off option. 

However, it’s not this simple. Rhetoric from political parties’ members in the media and in person try to paint issues as if they’re either black or white with an obvious answer, but that’s too simplistic. 

The Democratic Party has its obvious platforms while Republicans have their obvious platforms. However, if you identify with a party, it does not necessarily mean you have to agree with every idea it supports or disapproves of. It feels as if there is a “you are either with us or against us” attitude coming from the left and right wings of the political spectrum. The current “cancel culture” writes someone out of the media when there is controversy, scandals or most importantly opposition to a media’s accepted stance. This is used as leverage to shame and silence people rather than encourage them to give their honest opinion, which is unproductive and toxic. 

This is heavily seen in this presidential campaign; members on the more radical left of the political spectrum like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are seeking to cancel more moderate politicians like Vice President Joe Biden out of the Democratic Party.

There needs to be discourse across all stances in politics from the left to the right, even if it makes you cringe because it helps develop your individual political thought and find solutions for issues by finding common ground. There needs to be more conversation with less judgment so others are comfortable to explore more topics and solutions in politics that resonate with them.

If we all believed everything that our party stands for, we lose our patriotism and individuality. Not to mention, in the case of individuality, if we follow our political parties and its prominent leaders blindly even when there is injustice, we risk corruption in our government.

In the 1950s, for instance, McCarthyism sought to radically blacklist anyone with suspected ties to communism. However, waves like these can occur again and put people’s civil rights in danger.

We need people with a variety of perspectives; we don’t want to live in a society where everyone is robotic and feeds into everything their party tells them. Rather than accepting statements made by members of political parties, we need to question ideas and develop political stances based on reasoning and experience.

There are millions of topics in politics and there are definitely no two people who agree with each topic and how to handle them. Specifically, many people believe in border control, but their means of doing so varies. What shapes people’s personal political beliefs and means of achieving political goals is their experience.

Specifically, in the FIU community, there’s an array of students, faculty and alumni who come from different backgrounds and have experience that will diversify their political beliefs and add to modern political thought.

You can be a conservative fiscally, and be an ardent supporter of environmental justice. You can be a registered Democrat and support pro-life legislation. You can be a day one Bernie Sanders supporter but disagree with his proposal for student financial loan forgiveness. You can identify under whatever party you want to, even if it’s not Republican or Democrat. You don’t even have to identify with a party. 

Whatever the case is for you, no one has the right to question your beliefs for not perfectly aligned with the part of the political spectrum or political party you identify with.

Featured image by Ken Jones on Flickr.


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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