In a Polarized Political Climate, Finding Common Ground is More Important than ever


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Olivia Huse, Staff Writer

During quarantine, technology usage skyrocketed. The influx of people creating and consuming content led to people sharing opinions and debating current issues. I believe that the time people were isolating themselves contributed to today’s political climate by creating polarizing political entities.

According to PewResearch, “…Democrats were already much more likely than Republicans to say the media had covered the pandemic at least somewhat well (80% vs. 59%), while Republicans were more likely than Democrats to say the media had exaggerated the risks of the outbreak (76% vs. 49%).” This statistic represents the debate over a supposedly nonpartisan virus becoming a partisan debate. Disagreements over covid regulations such as mask-wearing and social distancing led to intolerance of the opposite party on both sides. 

Furthermore, another PewResearch article states, “Meanwhile, amid talk of the “China virus” from Trump and others, discrimination became another cause for concern during the pandemic, especially for Asian and Black Americans.” This represents the individualization of political parties, as stereotypes of the kind of morales and values associated with the people involved in each party started to emerge. 

Some people may argue that politics were already divisive pre-coronavirus because of the 2016 election of Trump. However, I believe that the political climate post 2020 election and the chaos of world events during that period is what began the division. According to NBC News, “This year, far fewer voters say they plan to vote for a third-party candidate. The Green and Libertarian party nominees are far less visible or aggressive than Stein or Johnson were and say they expect many of their would-be supporters to vote for Biden to stop Trump.” This analysis demonstrates the polarization of political parties as they banded together during the 2020 election. 

In conclusion, the pandemic resulted in political parties individualizing and developing demarcate positions on the state of the world. To accomplish change and engage in civil discourse, it is vital to try and understand the perspectives of people who disagree with your beliefs. Moving forward, I believe it would be beneficial for people to break away from radical ideologies on both sides and try to find common ground for the sake of government progress.