Joe Barbieri ’23
As the nation eagerly awaits the final results of the 2020 election, I think it is more important than ever to discuss the topic of political differences. With the polarization of American politics becoming more evident, we must remember to respect each other’s political views regardless of whatever candidate or belief one may have.
Using President Trump and former Vice President Biden as an example, you are entitled to your opinion when it comes to each candidate. And because you may support one candidate over the other, you should not be bullied for that very opinion.
The First Amendment cites that free speech can not be limited in any fashion among other inalienable rights, such as religion and assembly. As it was the first amendment that was written by the Founding Fathers, it is without a doubt the most important of all other rights.
Americans should be able to exercise their first amendment rights without being bullied for taking a particular stance on an issue. Expanding on this, the amendment applies to everyone equally and it does not stop with someone that you disagree with.
When talking about this issue, there is a quote from the movie The American President that I think does justice to the First Amendment:
“You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.”
I truly believe that a reason why America is the greatest country in the world is that while we are able to have opposing viewpoints, we are still able to come together, discuss them, and understand each other.
A civilized discussion on differences can go a long way. If you were to sit down with someone you disagree with for five minutes, you would be able to find something that you both agree on. If you were to sit down longer, who knows what else you would be able to agree on.
The point is that it is not only wrong to bully someone for holding an opposing viewpoint, it is truly un-American. This is not the way a democracy works. We must be willing to respect each other’s opinions and beliefs in order to find the middle ground.
At the end of the day, we are all Americans.
United we stand, divided we fall.