Parliamentary Peppermint

Ella Schulte, News Writer

Millennials & Generation Z have grown up in a world constantly engulfed by political arguments, to the point where deciphering one’s  beliefs from their parents or peers has become practically impossible. At the age of 17, it’s overwhelming.

Political discussions frequently turn into heated disagreements when tension is felt and opinions forced, often resulting in a lost or overlooked perspective.

With the majority of celebrities, social media influencers, and late night talk show hosts favoring the Democrats, regardless of the party one favors, these rants have made almost everything that shouldn’t have anything to do with politics become unappealing.

I’m tired of turning on the television only to be bombarded by Jimmy Kimmel starting every segment and monologue clip with a hit to the Republican Party. I’m tired of CNN and Fox News, the right, the left, and all the individuals who believe that their opinion is valid, assuming that they have some kind of automatic credibility.

Of course everyone is entitled to their own thoughts, but pressuring others to succumb to an idea they don’t holistically support or agree with, shouldn’t trump healthy relationships, whether that being with family members, friends, or even a complete stranger.

Empathy has been removed from human interaction, mainly due to the rise in social media participation within the past few years, allowing people to post or comment on things that they wouldn’t necessarily have the courage to say to an individual in person. This creates hostile and, often times, uncomfortable conversations when it comes to those who don’t share a similar viewpoint.

In a recent clip that went viral, former President George W. Bush, Republican, was caught on camera, sneaking what looked to be a peppermint or candy to former First Lady Michelle Obama, Democrat, at the memorial ceremony for late Senator John McCain. This simple gesture reminds everyone, regardless of the pigmentation of one’s skin, cultural differences, or opposing opinions concerning politics, that maybe, just maybe, there’s something more to life than always being right.

“Kindness is universal,” Twitter user Joseph Snyder said. “We don’t have to hate those we disagree with, we don’t have to berate and lambaste those whose opinions differ from our own.”

This effortless action, the passing of a presumable peppermint, not only sparked debate and reconciliation for many, but it brought together two of the most unlikely friends. It’s really that simple.

So reach out, extend a hand, and pass on the parliamentary peppermint of peace, prosperity and progress.