Setting a Bad Example
At the Youth Voice Forum, candidates spoke directly to high school and college students about what they’re going to do for us when they become president. Students asked the candidates about the things that they are most concerned about when choosing the right candidate for them.
While Bernie Sanders was on stage, a student came forward and talked about the deepening party divide. The student said that opposing parties have so much hatred for each other that they don’t see each other as human beings. He followed this by asking Sanders to say one thing he admires about President Trump to address this divide head-on. After being asked, Sanders laughed which made much of the crowd laugh as well. He proceeded to call Trump a racist, homophobic bigot and said that he would in no way be able to answer that question. He joked and said that he admires that the president gets up at 3 a.m. to start tweeting.
Sanders’ behavior indicates exactly what the student was talking about. The parties are growing so partisan that they can’t stand to find a single compliment about someone with contrasting views. Sanders’ reaction was expected because of the vastly different positions between Sanders and Trump, but I found it surprising that he actually couldn’t think of anything he admires. The crowd’s reaction also shows that the growing divide is happening everywhere.
Although it doesn’t seem like it now, it is possible for people with opposing positions to get along in day to day life. Not every part of a person’s life needs to be framed by their political views. I hope that it becomes possible for people and politicians to be able to put their opinions aside and at least be able to get along and be friends with one another. Regardless of political views, all politicians want what’s best for the country, they just have different ways of going about it.