Over the last elections, I think our society has reached this level of identifying each other based on political affiliations. So & so is a democrat or a republican. We think of that first, before anything else. In some cases. I find that disturbing. Yes, being affiliated with a political party may come with the territory of one's values and beliefs, but I think it's a hindrence to knowing each other. There are people who, in the last presidential election, stopped speaking to each other because one was a democrat and the other a republication. Friends for years, no longer having contact. What a loss.
Respectful discussion seems to be no more for many. It's "my way" or the highway and now I think less of you. Or one person tries to shove their ideas down the other's throat, thinking they can somehow sway them. It's ridiculous.
I have my own beliefs and values. I consider that private information that I rarely share with others. Many people close to me may know where I lie on certain issues, but I try not to push my beliefs on someone else. I don't bring political discussions up for the simple fact that I've experienced another person trying to tell me how wrong I am. There was never even a "Well, I respect your opinion, but I disagree." It was "That's wrong.....da, da, da, da." Why would I discuss a belief that is personal to me with someone who may attempt to tell me I'm wrong, or a bad person?
This country has become so polarized. Red or blue. I think one can stand up for what they believe in and be respectful about it. A person can share their thoughts/ideas without the retoric that exists today for so many conversations. For many of those people who are the "opposite" of me, there I go talking about that utopic society again. ;)
The one thing I feel very strongly about being an educated voter. For those who feel this doesn't affect you, it does. It affects us, our children, our world. Listen to more than the nightly news, or one website. Check out the candidate websites. Do some research to see which candidate most fits your beliefs. You might be suprised. Check out Presidential Survey to find out where you fall with a candidate.