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Present-day politics and division: Have your personal relationships taken a hit?

It’s like everyone, on every issue, is forced to get political and take a side — to be either for or against the current thing and then shout contemptuously at the other side on the internet.

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Have any of your personal relationships in recent years been weakened over matters of politics?

I came across this article just the other day. The headline reads:

Canadians becoming more divided over COVID-19 and politics, survey says

To quote, “About 40 per cent of those surveyed said they have reduced contact with friends or family over an argument about the pandemic or politics.”

And this isn’t the first headline I’ve seen very similar to this over the past few years. 

I’ve thought about this a lot. Today's level of identity politics and political tribalism is astounding.

I really liked this clip from Bill Maher on the Ben Shapiro Show from a few weeks ago. I think he nails it.

It’s like everyone, on every issue, is forced to get political and take a side — to be either for or against the current thing and then shout contemptuously at the opposing side on the internet. We judge, we label, we generalize, and we attack those we disagree with. Every political disagreement becomes personal.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not at all saying that you shouldn’t be politically outspoken or stand up for your personal convictions. But I am saying that you, and those around you, are far more than your political views — and we should remember to put individuals and relationships over politics.

If we can’t cordially communicate differing ideas and perspectives and engage in open-minded civil discussion, then we can’t get anywhere.

There are good and bad people on both sides of the political divide. You shouldn't hold contempt for someone just because you don't see eye-to-eye on a given social or political issue.

I’m not going hate you just because you think and see differently than I do.

I mean, who wins when that happens?

I suppose my message is: Bring back civil discourse. You are more than your politics. And don’t forget to love your neighbour.

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