In recent years, it seems our political climate has grown more divisive and hate-filled every day. The two major parties have been pulled to the fringes of the political spectrum. Republicans who don’t hold strictly to every part of the party platform, or support every single aspect of the Trump administration, are referred to as RINOs, and Democrats who lean even slightly to the right are called bigots and fakes. This kind of hatred toward reasoned and centrist policies, if we allow it to continue, will lead to the downfall of the bipartisanship and tolerance which has made our society what it is today. Polarization must cease if we wish to remain the free and prosperous country we were created to be.
We must ensure that hatred and fringe politics do not entirely consume our culture. We must realize that in-fighting is not a desirable means and tribalism is not a desirable end. The following, while not concrete solutions, are suggestions as to how we can accomplish these things — how we can realize that principle matters infinitely more than party and return to showing tolerance and love toward everyone.
First, it is important that we realize that political parties are a social construct, not absolute ethical standards. A group of fallible humans craft the Republican and Democratic party platforms based on what it believes is best for the party and the country. A platform is simply a guideline of a party’s general ideology. It is not a manifesto to which all its members must adhere. Identifying with a party does not require that you endorse or agree with everything it says and does.
Second, we must realize that party platforms are not built on strict ideology, but often instead on pragmatism and compromise. This is okay, as it is not ethically necessary for parties to hold strictly to an absolute ideological baseline. More ideological and less ideological members of parties should not be ridiculed for holding different positions.