During the 2016 presidential election I was not old enough to vote. I did however learn some very basic information about both Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump’s stances on various issues. Even if I hadn’t done that very basic research, I already knew who I would’ve voted for. It wasn’t Trump.
One of my best friends in Alabama, Asher, was old enough to vote in that election and he voted for Trump. I asked him afterwards about why he chose the candidate he did. He compared the choice between Clinton and Trump to choosing between the lesser of two evils. I thought “Does he actually think he did?” My other best friend, Brendan, who is younger than me didn’t vote either. However, if he had, I’m almost positive he also would’ve voted Republican.
I have always known that I have differing political opinions than many of my extended family members. My family lives in Alabama. A lot of Alabama is conservative. Even I would sometimes consider myself slightly conservative, though liberal as a whole.
It’s easy to call people who vote for the opposing political party wicked, evil monsters and inhuman. But that’s quite far from the truth. Asher and Brendan are two of my best friends in the world. I consider myself a Democrat, where they would classify as Republican. I’m strongly for gun reform whereas Brendan specifically is a strong second amendment advocate. But just because I don’t agree with their ideas doesn’t make them monsters. They’re very much human, they can be incredibly kind and caring, even if they have flaws. I’m sure they’d say the exact same thing about me.
While it’s true that neither of my two friends have separated families at the border or shot up schools (and I seriously doubt they ever will), I recognize that the people who do that are bad people. I’m not excusing any of them. Everyone else who perhaps has views different than mine about race, immigration and government are not bad people though. We just don’t agree. While I cannot say for certain that they would refrain from acting on these views, if they don’t act on them, then should we classify them as bad people or simply people with differing ideas than our own?