When it comes to politics, civility is now the exception, not the norm. Across the web, comment sections are filled with the most polarizing opinions and voices, with little room left for a reasonable and well thought out debate. Of course, some of this can be contributed to this past’s Presidential election’s extreme rhetoric, but I would venture that it also has to do with the very nature of online interactions. Behind their phones and computers, people are bold. With only the click of a mouse, one’s opinion can be spread virtually anywhere, with little to no real world consequences. American politics will always be broken so long as we have our political discussions behind a keyboard and not in real life. To achieve the progress we need, bold and courageous real life conversations must take place. Virtual discourse gets us nowhere, too often driving us apart. As Americans, there is still more that unites us than divides us. Judging by the comment section on news articles, however, one would get the sense that the most polarizing voice is always the most popular, that the loudest and most bombastic voice is the one that people agree most with. However, that’s simply not true. To fix what’s broken in politics, we must get past the keyboards and phone’s and once again sit down with each other.
The conversations that we have might not be easy, but they are certainly necessary.
And who knows, you might just be surprised at what you find out from the other side.