If you follow the news, you have seen that Ellen DeGeneres has come under fire just for having a friendship with former President George W. Bush. You may have also seen that sales from Nickelback’s song “Photograph” went up 569% from Oct. 2 to 3 simply because President Trump shared a meme with him in it.
In today’s American culture, a person’s political affiliation seems to be the single item by which all other values and ideas must be determined. We are not expected to be individual in our thinking based on our specific upbringing, background, occupation or religion—only our politics.
This is ridiculous.
Politics was once just an element of each persons worldview. Nowadays, a persons worldview seems more like a script derived from their poliitics. We assume that those who vote the same way as we do can be relied upon ideologically in other contexts, and even worse, we assume that those who vote differently than us have nothing to offer.
For decades this country has allowed politics to dictate to us the available positions on subjects ranging from racism to gun control to freedom of speech. To the contrary, both as Christians and as responsible citizens, we should not allow political preference to bypass reasonable thought. Ideas should be judged based on their merit, not based on their spokespersons. Topics such as racism should not be a political issue. They should not be weapons used by one side or forbidden conversations to be ignored by another.
For example, why is the concept of climate change a political issue? Should we not be able to look at data, studies and trends and have true discussion of the topic? This is just one of many issues seen more as a political battlefield than a rational discussion.
We need to think critically about every position without taking the mental shortcut of relying on a political herd mentality. We ought to start discussing the merit of a musician’s latest album and the composition of an artist’s work, not their political views. If we could separate current issues from party lines, we could collaborate as a nation rather than war as tribes.