Monday, November 20, 2017

Political parties need not demonize one another

I recently attended an ACLU speaker event here in Columbus. I know of many people who would cast aspersions at my having done so, including an 18-year-old college student named Drew.
Drew is very socially conservative and views the ACLU as an extension of the liberal elite, with an agenda to ruin everything that is good about America. But I haven’t seen Drew in 25 years. He grew up and goes by Andrew now. And a lifetime of experiences and relationships with people of all backgrounds, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations helped him understand – helped me understand – that life is hard enough without us making it harder for each other.
And the ACLU is just trying to make each individual feel like the liberties that our nation’s founders sought to preserve are being protected by someone, because our government has shown that it doesn’t always do a very good job of that.
But we can all help. Treat people like people. You don’t need to demonize them because of which party they vote for and what organizations they support, and quite frankly I was disappointed by a letter to the editor a couple of weeks ago that seemed intended to do just that.
In a time where our country faces such deliberate and divisive influences at all levels of government, we as a community need to rise above that. Put people above party and listen to what they have to say. Everyone’s stories are different, and they can all inform our own.

Andrew Forcier
Columbus