Brexiters and Remainers CAN be friends
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It is unsurprising that politics can get personal. Opinions and decisions that affect our everyday lives are bound to elicit emotional responses. In any kind of election or vote, it is typical for there to be some raised tempers, heated debates, and possibly some disagreements amongst friends. However, in general elections, the views and aims of each party are often fairly broad, so it’s unlikely that people will find no point on which they agree.
Unfortunately, the EU referendum is not so forgiving. The votes of the referendum are complete opposites, with the campaigns at logger-heads with each other throughout, even when it came down to the basic facts of what the EU does or does not do for us. The closest thing to an agreement that people can come to in this political debate is the Remainers conceding that the EU isn’t perfect.
Many people, including myself, couldn’t wait for the referendum to be over. The political atmosphere was nasty – nothing could be said without it being dismissed as scaremongering, and there was even the brutal murder of Jo Cox. But since the referendum things have somehow got worse; the nastiness of the politicians has trickled down to the people – online, in the media and even on the streets, Remainers have been calling Brexiters racist idiots and Brexiters have been calling Remainers undemocratic and stuck-up. Being honest, as a Remainer, I have been a little lax with the words ‘racist’ and ‘stupid’ myself, but given the numerous reports of rising racial abuse and worrying numbers of people admitting they didn’t truly understand what they were voting for, it is very hard not to. On the other hand, I can understand why Brexiters are getting frustrated at calls for a second referendum, as normally a decision of the people is respected as final.
This is what the discussions (or, let’s be honest, arguments) boil down to – racism versus democracy. On my Facebook I’ve been attacked for promoting the petition for a second referendum, being told to “suck it up” and go away (though not in quite such polite terms). When I shared verified articles of rising racism, I was told it was a “shame” that us Remainers were brandishing all Brexiters as racists, and that I was narrow-minded and stuck up. In both cases, these people are my friends. Admittedly, not very close ones, but people I have pleasant memories with. How can I not get frustrated with them? They’re insulting me for views that I think are obvious – that the small majority of the vote and the lies of the Leave campaign make the whole situation undemocratic, and that racial abuse is a pressing issue that cannot be ignored, regardless of the true feelings of most Leave voters. They’re my friends, but I can’t help liking them a little less for being so blinkered and indifferent.
Yet, this doesn’t mean that I believe all Brexiters are racist, nor do I think they’re all idiots. Likewise, I’m sure Brexiters don’t think all Remainers are stuck up, undemocratic snobs. So, despite strong disagreements, can we all be sensible and not let this get between us?via SIZZLE
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