by Olin Meinders

As I was scrolling through my Twitter (@omeinders26) and other social media accounts the other day, I came across several posts and comments that were, as expected, regarding politics, racial equality and the police. Normally, I’d just scroll pass the posts because those kind of comments don’t make any kind of progress whatsoever for either side.

That day, I decided to check the comments section of a Twitter post that thanked police officers for their service. Sure enough, one of the top comments was “#@&$! the police.” The commenter’s profile picture was a picture of the Black Lives Matter group, which came as no surprise to me.

I figured that would get a reaction from people, so I dug deeper into the comments section. “Reaction” would’ve been an understatement. The next thing I knew I was looking at a battle ground. The battle was over racial equality, police brutality, black on black violence and the recent election.

The one thing I don’t understand is why someone would go through so much effort, and be so relentless, when it comes to backing up an opinion on social media. The worst part of this “battle” is that no one wins. These kinds of arguments don’t push your party/candidate/opinions forward, but can really push them back. So what’s the point?

If you don’t agree with a completely random stranger’s view on a certain topic, it’s not your job to change his/her mind and tell that person how wrong you think he/she is. It is not a crime to voice an opinion, so don’t get too worked up over one. The people who do that are saturating the First Amendment. By respecting other people’s opinions and not lashing out at them for it, you are still exercising that right to freedom of speech by allowing others to use that privilege without being persecuted.

I truly believe that this country, and everything it stands for, is the greatest and there’s nothing like it nor has been, but in recent years, a lot of people have abandoned many of the beliefs and ideas that allowed us to rise to that greatness. George Washington believed our country shouldn’t even have political parties. I will admit I don’t completely agree with George since it is human nature to separate and differentiate. However, I think he would agree with me when I say during that this time people need to take action to shrink the gaps between Democrats and Republicans, police and African Americans, city and rural and everything else.

An Instagram or Facebook post/comment isn’t going to do much for your political party. A comment will not cause the change that you want. Anyone is able to plaster his/her opinions all over Facebook, but someone who truly wants change will actually take a step towards making that change a possibility.