Politics is an integral part of society that affects us all. Whether you consider yourself passionate about the subject or not, you will consciously have a stance on the debate between left or right. Whichever wing you side with, though, it’s important to avoid being blind to opposing views.
Left or right, you should not be sucked into the extreme movements. It’s certainly a delicate issue, and here’s what you must know.
Do you edge left or right?
While you shouldn’t fall into the far movements, there’s nothing wrong with having an opinion. Most people will consider themselves to be either left-wing or right-wing. Wherever you sit on the spectrum, you should know where you stand. Even if you do only edge slightly towards one direction or the other.
It is a complex situation with many contributing elements. Ultimately, though, if you take a liberal approach then you fall on the left. Conversely, a conservative philosophy will see you enjoy a stronger link to the right.
Political views are complex
Regardless of which camp you identify yourself with, it’s important to appreciate the complexity of the subject. Politics covers so many different aspects of life. Only someone that blindly follows their general philosophy would agree with every element.
Just because you take a right-wing approach to the economy, it doesn’t mean you agree with the right-wing views on abortion. Likewise, someone that sides with the left on immigration may disagree with the feelings on gun laws.
Many contributing laws, philosophies, and ideologies make the world turn. Given that we are all individuals, it would be foolish to categorize yourself completely by the choice between left or right. Prioritizing what’s important to you will enable you to find where you stand politically. Still, by appreciating that you probably you won’t agree with every manifesto or concept will give you a far more balanced outlook.
Your views aren’t necessarily right
Appreciating the complexity of political ideologies underlines that neither the left or right is 100% right. Well, guess what? You might not always be right either. If that doesn’t underline the importance of taking a more central stand, nothing will.
With regards to political parties, very well educated people occupy the key positions in both major camps. Liberals and Conservatives are each supported by people with vast experience in the field. Yet, at least one will be wrong on each of those important issues. To think that you couldn’t possibly be seeing things in the wrong way would be very naïve.
Even if your views make sense for you personally, it doesn’t mean it’s the best approach overall. After all, many different elements will influence your outlook on political issues. From financial backgrounds to life experiences, those characteristics make you who you are.
You may think that you can empathize with people from different social backgrounds. While that may be true, you’ll never fully understand every final detail. Whether it’s due to economic issues, or social elements like racism or gender inequality doesn’t matter. You’ll never see life from their perspective with 20-20 vision. Subsequently, accepting you may be wrong from time to time is key.
Life is about compromise
The other important thing to remember in the battle between left and right, is that issues are often more complex than being black and white. While the right might be right with the core features of a certain issue, it doesn’t mean that the left’s view doesn’t have any merit. Vice-versa, the left’s main concepts can often be improved by incorporating elements from the right-wing stance.
Ultimately, even when in direct competition, the ultimate goal of any government is to improve the country. As such, having the maturity to work together on those projects makes everything seem smoother. Those sentiments also ring true on a personal note.
Even when you disagree with someone of different political views, it’s important to appreciate they have the same goal. Their vision of a better life, country, and world might look slightly different to yours. Still, it doesn’t mean their opinions are invalid. Combine aspects of contrasting views and debate issues in a constructive way. This is far more productive than dismissing each other completely. The resulting benefits will be huge.
Problems surface from extremist viewpoints
If you look at political history, it’s no surprise to see that most damaging episodes surface due to extreme politics. Both the left and right have been at fault for this during the past, and an inability to accept the opposition’s view is the chief reason.
It’s not just that legislations and laws have been passed due to one-sided views. There has also been a number of protests over the years due to a lack of compassion or understanding of the opposition. This is something that the average person is far more likely to be involved in. Moreover, the fallout results in a backwards step for the whole country. Even if you aren’t particularly focused on political developments, those impacts should not be ignored.
Oppositions can often accept not having things their way as long as there is some focus on their outlook. Once again, compromise is key. Taking a more central stance, individually and collectively, is the only way to achieve it.
The final verdict
There is nothing wrong with being opinionated in life, especially with regards to politics. Having said that, being blind to contrasting views and ideologies can be very damaging indeed. Even if your way is the right way, taking a moderate approach over an extreme one is true.
Whether you fall into the left or right side of the political spectrum, balance is the key. Achieve this, and things will become far clearer. Showing that you’ve considered all outcomes gives your political views far greater authority too.
It’d be wrong for anyone to tell you whether to identify with the left or right. In either situation, appreciating both philosophies by moving towards the center is the only solution.