Politics destroy friendships


Rachel Chase

Senior Sam Halulko and AP European History teacher Mr. Polansky have a heated discussion about politics in the United States.

Throughout the halls of Trinity High School, the effects of the political divide caused by the 2016 election are still obvious. When President Trump was elected, the discussion of politics heated immensely. Physical fights broke out in schools all across the nation and arguments ensued. Two years later, the issue continues to spark conflict. In fact, the political division is still causing arguments, breaking up friendships and creating greater hostility between students who find themselves supporting opposing political parties.

“Even though there is a political divide, I don’t feel we’re as united as a nation as we could be. I feel there is a dangerous undertone of anger amongst people,” said Mr. Polansky, Social Studies teacher.

However, the divide is only becoming greater. Many studies, such as the series of polls conducted by the Pew Research Center, show that Republicans are becoming significantly more right-winged, and Democrats are becoming significantly more left-winged.

“Trump’s personality lends itself to either loving him or hating him, and there doesn’t seem to be much in-between,” said Mr. Schwab, Economics teacher.

It is uncertain if the divide will lessen once Trump is out of office.

“I think right now, emotional politics is very trendy and popular amongst people our age. In time, we will, as a collective group of people, be able to make rational arguments and decisions. But, for the time being, I think it’s going to be very divided,” said Senior Sam Halulko.

Perhaps our generation will be able to see the two political parties unite, but for now, the differences are obvious. On election day two years ago, friend groups changed.

“I think that with some people it galvanized their relationships and others it polarized them,” said Halulko.

Today, the resulting friend groups from the election are firm and largely unchanging. Friends who became closer due to their aligning political views don’t want to engage with friend groups of opposing political views. This leaves two groups of people on opposing sides who often refuse to speak to each other. Some people find themselves engaged in political wars on social media, often bashing others for their views. These “political wars” carry off-screen as well. These on-screen fights can cause fights to break out in real life.

However, Schwab also pointed out that the Constitution was written to deal with these issues. Our government system is set up to have conflict. So, in theory, the divide should lessen over time. Our government should keep a balance of power and maintain fairness, regardless of how extreme each political party becomes.

With midterm elections coming up, will the political discussion heat up again? If it does, one might also wonder if the discussion will die down after midterms or continue to be a hot topic. This may depend on the outcomes of the elections themselves. Eligible students who register to vote and cast their ballots will have their opinion heard. Regardless of who you vote for, it is vital to keep an open mind and attempt to not let politics invade your friendships.

“I think it should be pointed out that people can be friends with each other and not necessarily agree,” said Halulko.

Take time for tolerance as midterm elections approach, exercise your right to vote and respect everyone’s political views.