An IR Perspective: Toxic Polarization is Dangerous to Society | Editorial

Spitting hate and vitriol has never changed anyone’s mind.

Yet in our increasingly toxic political world, more and more people seem to be using this strategy to get their point across.

From congress halls to the expanses of Montana and even here to our own community, it is becoming far too common for people to treat those with different views as enemies to be defeated. And we fear that the way people dehumanize each other is leading our society down a dangerous path that could have dire consequences for everyone.

We are not saying that freedom of speech is a bad thing. No matter how much we may disagree with what people say, we will always stand up for their right to say it.

But before you post this Tweet, hold this sign, or send this letter to the editor, we challenge you to ask yourself a simple question: “What is this for?” “

If you use words like “rethuglican,” “libtard,” “snowflake,” or other derogatory terms reminiscent of a schoolyard bully, all you’re doing is causing more division.

Are we not already divided enough?

When we get columns and letters to the editor from people belittling those they hate, sometimes all we can do is shake our heads. In most cases, these types of opinions make the perpetrator appear much worse than the demonized person or group.

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