Throughout high school, the majority of my friends classified themselves as liberal. In fact, the majority of my school seemed to identify as liberal. Despite disagreeing on many issues, there is still room in the world for both conservatives and liberals to get along. We must learn to work together. Here are the five reasons you need to branch out of your conservative comfort circle.

1) News flash: You are not always right.

You may lean right, but that doesn’t ensure you are right about everything. There is more than one side to every argument.  Being conservative does not automatically make your opinion correct. Within our own party, some people are devout Christians, and some are atheists. Some people support LGBTQ+ rights, while some are side with more traditional values. Our party is diverse in opinion, so to classify correctness based on partisan alignment is absurd. This being said, correctness based on fact, is a completely different story.

 2) Not everyone is conservative.

Not everyone was raised like you.  Not everyone was raised with the same beliefs and values you uphold. Whether you are a high school student, college student or even taking on the professional world, not everyone is conservative, but you have to work with them regardless. Political partisanship shouldn’t become an obstacle you can’t overcome. Especially in the field of politics, you must learn to be respectful and civil with those who disagree with you. Learning to branch out of your conservative comfort circle will teach you how to handle the real world and get along with others – even those who hold polar opposite political views.

 3) You learn to debate instead of argue.

While hurling insulting tweets towards people online may be your preferred method of displaying dominance, it accomplishes nothing. By having an informed liberal friend, I became better accustomed to debating with fact and reason. I became less divisive and more open to hearing the other side of things. I would want someone else to do for me. When you can sit down and have respectful political discussion without basing it on media and bias, much more can become accomplished.

 4) They encourage you to stay well informed.

In order to discuss your views on a subject without just screaming opinions, you must be up to date on the current events around you. Knowing you have a friend who is going to challenge you and be curious about your opinions on current events encourages you to stay active in the world of politics. It requires you to think critically every time news breaks. Your liberal friend can often be your means of motivation, as they push you to keep current and informed.

 5) They strengthen your conservative roots.

Although you probably always hear the saying “You become who you surround yourself with,” I believe having a close liberal friend actually drove my conservative values deeper. By being able to share your values openly with someone you trust, who will disagree and still accept you regardless, you become more confident to share your story with others.  Having a liberal best friend can actually affirm why you believe with you do.  It can give you confirmation on why you chose to identify as a conservative to begin with.

As thankful as I am for my conservative friends who encourage me and agree with what I have to say, it is always necessary to have checks and balances to keep myself in place. Not everyone in life will agree with everything I say or support the same political ideology that I do, but having a close liberal friend to challenge me as I was still developing my conservative values was such a blessing, and certainly made my values stronger than ever before.

Sarah G
FFL Contributor