The right is evil. The left is stupid. This is genuinely what some people think of the other side of the political spectrum in today’s society. And the gap is growing. The disdain towards the other side is increasing. The misunderstanding of the other side’s logic is becoming determined. Why is this happening? It’s regularly reported that it’s down to the fact that people are spending their time (online and offline) with likeminded people of likeminded backgrounds and likeminded views. How can you avoid this? It is your duty, yes you, to diversify the way you read and absorb news and garner an understanding for why the other side views things the way they do.
If you think 17.5 million people voted to leave the EU because deep down they are racists, get out of your echo chamber and start talking to Brexiteers. No, not the ones you read about in the newspapers or see on your TV, go and find some real life human beings who want to leave the European Union and pick their brains. If you think that the people who want to vote for Corbyn have no understanding of economics, you’re ignorant to the importance of workers’ rights in our society. Talk to them, not the angry mob you see in all the mainstream news channels, but to the disenfranchised North-Eastern mining families who have nowhere to turn to politically. Or talk to the millions of NHS staff who are questioning if the NHS is being sold off and what the implications may be. Most importantly, come with an open mind.
The vast majority have genuine, economic or morally sound views and arguments for why they vote the way that they do. Stereotypical depictions as to why a demographic might vote left or right do sell papers, but there are myriad reasons as to why someone from a certain background might vote a certain way. The left’s logic does not amount to stupidity, it amounts to putting, on balance, an emphasis on love and care over profit. The right’s logic does not amount to profit for the über-rich, it believes profit and individual liberty is the key which unlocks happiness and true freedom.
The moment you realise that you should try to understand the person sitting on the opposite side of the political aisle – real, substantive conversations can begin. Instead of abuse and anger being thrown at one another, points of policy and economics can battle one another and minds can develop their understanding of why it is that people vote the way they do. No facet of modern politics is inherently evil or stupid, thus the voters supporting them aren’t either. They may just be ignorant to the other side of the argument and please, go fix that for them, while in the process, fixing it for yourself.