“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” -Thomas Jefferson
This statement by our third president could not be more important than right now in twenty-first century America because everyone is offended by something. We have the legal right guaranteed by the First Amendment to be offended, but it is not fair to close your mind or ears.
There are those who are offended for others or themselves, and then there are those who intentionally or unintentionally offend people. Everyone else ignorantly takes sides. Instead of picking a side and demonizing your opponents, let’s engage in conversation. Every belief, no matter how misinformed or wrong-intentioned, deserves a response.
The polarizing effect of our modern political correctness was a factor in the election of Donald Trump. Many Trump supporters across the US felt like they were not being heard or represented. Whether or not their views are widely accepted, they deserved and still deserve a response. Ignoring people or telling them that their argument is too dumb to discuss is dangerous as it only encourages their ideas to become more deeply engrained.
Suck it up, put on your listening ears, and open your mind. Be a big girl or a big boy. Dialogue is the key to solving our differences, improving our political atmosphere, and expanding our culture.