Let’s Get Down to Politics

The chasm between conservatives and liberals increases by the day, and with that, so does our understanding of each other and of each others’ beliefs. 

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Photo courtesy of John Bakator (Unsplash).

Our town, Kinnelon, while close to many liberal towns and counties, has maintained a slight lean towards conservatism, with approximately 49.7 percent of Morris County inhabitants voting Republican (the largest voting base in Morris County is Independent / Unaffiliated). With New Jersey being a liberal state, and Morris County (as well as Kinnelon) leaning more conservative, it gives Kinnelon residents a look into the views of others, something that is becoming increasingly more difficult as the nation continues to divide over politics. 

Kinnelon High School is an especially fascinating place when it comes to the merging of political ideals, as the split of those leaning Republican and those leaning Democrat seem roughly equal within the school. Not to mention, Kinnelon high schoolers are seemingly unafraid and unapologetic when it comes to showcasing their political opinions― Trump flags and apparel are frequently seen during Pep Rallies and Spirit Week, just as Bernie mugs and Hillary stickers are seen daily. 

Understanding and tolerance comes through knowledge; hearing what the opponents of your viewpoints have to say is equally as important as knowing your own opinion. For that reason, learning about the beliefs of those that you learn beside can foster a greater sense of tolerance and inclusiveness.

So, go out. Talk to people of different political beliefs. Try to understand what compels them to believe what they believe. But, most importantly, try to close the chasm that has kept us divided for so long.