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29 days in February! Let the mass unfollowings end.

2016 is a Leap Year meaning there are 29 days in February and mass unfollowing of friends occur as United States politics flood the social media networks.

As a reminder, citizenship is not passive. We have a civic duty to participate in politics to shape our nations. That includes voicing dissenting opinions among our peers. An informed citizenry can better shape its respective nation. When the citizenry, particularly the proletariat, can be convinced to not be bothered, corporations and politicians can more easily control the people.

If we decry political discussions on Facebook or other social media as a reason to block people or unfriend others, we are doing nothing less than putting our fingers in our ears and chanting nah nah nah nah nah.

We make progress by listening to ideas foreign to our own. A business meeting where everyone walks into a room and nods heads in agreement and pats each other on the back is a waste of meeting space and salaries. An echo chamber where everyone else says the same thing we already think does not further a cause. Both cases are nothing more than pep rallies and bandwagons.

A diverse population will never be in complete agreement. John Lydgate said, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” If the Left implemented all of their philosophies with blatant disregard for the Right, you would have a significant portion of the population displeased and vice versa. Politics is about finding a happy medium where the Right and the Left find a middle ground which somewhat pleases both extremes. Our politician’s job is to seek this middle ground!

An elected official is supposed to represent the people; not just the people who agree with that politician’s ideals. A Congressman is a professional and should be willing to approach a vote with a Yea to represent its constituents’ wishes even when that Congressman’s personal beliefs say Nay. Consider your representatives’ histories as you go into the voting booths.

Regarding the political arena and social media, I implore you to resist the urge to take a dislike to someone you follow or even go so far as to block or unfollow them over their political posts. Instead, engage them. I did not say “insult them” or “fight with them” or “troll them.” Engage them. Be inquisitive. Try to understand their position even if they are unwilling to give you the same courtesy. Let’s make politics civil again.

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