Polarity and International Peace Day
By Evan Brady (Fall 2017)
On Thursday the 21st, the UN will be celebrating its International Day of Peace. Every year, the UN decides on a theme for this day, and for this year the theme is Together. Now, perhaps more than ever, America and its citizens are less together. While the UN’s theme is focused on welcoming to migrants and refugees who flee from their homes for their own safety, a topic that shines a light on just how un-together Americans are, the US has an issue of polarity. On both the right and the left, Americans are becoming more and more convinced that their views and opinions are the right ones and the other side will bring about the destruction of the country. In spirit of the theme of ‘Together’, I’d like to highlight a quote from Cory Booker, a Senator for New Jersey. “In America,” Senator Booker says, “our differences matter, but our country matters more”. The polarity of the American right and left has the potential to cause more damage to our country and its government than either side can imagine the other doing. Regardless of the views held by Republicans or Democrats, we all want one thing: what’s best for America. Both sides may have very different views of what’s best for our country, and these views are expressed in their politics and their opinions, but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about our differences in order to gain a better understanding of the opposing side.
Understanding the opposing views of your political beliefs is crucial to having meaningful political debates and discussions. By having a greater understanding of what Republicans believe and what Republicans want, Democrats can work with them to compromise on certain issues and actually bring about resolutions to national issues that both sides can agree on.
In the spirit of ‘Togetherness’ and reducing the polarization of our country, AEFocus will be providing examples of just how similar we all are at the core of our beliefs. For the next week, we’ll be posting various discussions, games, and blogs on social media not only to highlight the polarized system we’re currently living in, but to try to find ways in which we can reduce that polarity.
We will also be providing our readers with Calls to Action,which you can find at the end of each posting. These will be things that we think would be helpful in trying to make the world a more peaceful place. While these actions may not feel like they do much to contribute to peace, something as simple as participating in a locally organized peace event can help show how dedicated we as Americans are to keeping our country in peace.
By exposing our audience to views they may not be used to or agree with through our interactive social media quizzes and outreach, we hope to shed light on the views of Americans across the political spectrum and bring political discussions and debates back from the far edges of both parties to a place where we can begin to agree and compromise again.
Calls to Action
9/17: International Day of Peace Event at the Leonia United Methodist Church in Leonia, NJ at 5:00pm. For more information, contact the Leonia Church at firstname.lastname@example.org or (201)-944-2970
9/21: Positive Peace Event at Castle Clinton Plaza in Battery Park, Manhattan at 10:00am. Free tickets can be found on Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-positive-peace-event-tickets-37808978673
9/21: March for Peace not Violence at 183rd and Aqueduct Ave, Bronx NY at 4:00pm. Join 183rd Street’s community members, clergy leaders, small business owners, and Assembly member Victor Pichardo in their march supporting nonviolent and peaceful solutions to problems in response to the violence that has plagued their community.
Open a dialogue with someone you don’t normally share opinions or views with. Understanding each other and why we believe the things we believe are best for our country is extremely important in working together to solve our issues
Research opposing sides. Echo chambers have taken over much of the American media on both sides of the political spectrum, leading to confirmation bias and the increase in polarization. By exposing yourself to credible sources that present opposing viewpoints clearly and fairly, we can learn more about our differences and work to create bridges between them.