Intellectual Elitism in Today’s Politics

Picture a hot bowl of smooth tomato soup. The perfect balance of sweetness and acidity forms a harmony of creamy deliciousness. But if politics were like soup, my family’s political views would make a chunky chowder, not a silky tomato soup. In a chowder, large pieces of vegetables or meat float in a creamy base, creating a soup that has distinctly separate pieces, unlike a blended soup. Like a chowder, my family’s political views are divided rather than in concord with each other. This used to frustrate me; it seemed like every dinner table discussion about politics ended in an altercation. My irritation persisted until I realized one of the reasons we were so divided: intellectual elitism.
On both sides of the political spectrum, many have the high-minded belief that if someone’s views are not the same as theirs, then that person is unintelligent. Both liberals and conservatives tend to dismiss the opposite’s viewpoints when they become too different from their own opinions. In today’s polarized political atmosphere, we unfriend others on social media if they post something that contradicts our views. However, by isolating ourselves from differing opinions and labeling them as unintelligent, no progress is made.
Ultimately, I am guilty of dismissing others’ opinions too. As someone with liberal views, I have avoided certain conversations with conservative-leaning family members. But I have realized that only when we have conversations with those who hold different beliefs will we create a better understanding of all political stances. If we continue to ignore others’ opinions, we lose the opportunity to develop our own beliefs and possibly even change someone’s mind. Just because someone thinks differently than you, does it mean that their opinion is not valid?
In order to create true change, we must respect all political stances. We are all learning and developing our views, but if we dismiss opposite opinions, we will fail to understand the intricate perspectives others hold. When it comes to politics, it is good that we do not live in a world of harmonious tomato soup. If everyone’s views were the same, no one would grow and challenge their beliefs. In a world of chowder, we must accept all parts that form our one, beautifully divided soup.