These days it’s easy to get caught up in politics. It seems that many, if not most, conversations quickly transition into which political scenario currently has us reeling. We either lambast with the likeminded or get wide-eyed and worked up arguing with those with whom we don’t agree politically.

The good news is, we don’t have to agree completely politically. We can stop exhausting ourselves in our efforts to get every player on our team. Politics rely on compromise, constructive conversation and criticism and a healthy dose of competition. Educated, respectful conversations that are based in facts and truth and express different perspectives can serve us by furthering our understanding and strengthening our positions on the issues.

It’s our responsibility to use our voice and fight for what we believe in, but it’s also our responsibility to respect other perspectives and listen to others’ experiences, knowledge and ideas which have led them to their perspectives. Politics shouldn’t consume, define or divide us.

There are, however, certain universal, unequivocal truths that we must protect and defend because they’re worth fighting for and our stance on them says much about who we are. When we collide with others because their differences are rooted in racism, hate, misogyny and disrespect, we’re not at odds politically, we’re witnessing a display of ignorance and intolerance. There is no threshold for tolerance, or space to be made for these types of differences or disagreements.

Racism, hate, misogyny, and bullying don’t belong to any party. They shouldn’t find acceptance or a place to call home in our political arena. Actions and positions motivated by these things will never lead to progress or serve the greater good, and politics exists for good, not evil. They are signs of weakness and politics succeeds in strength. They marginalize and hold us back, and politics drives us forward.

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Historically, both the Republican and Democratic Parties have demanded that their foundations be built on truth, character, morality and a desire to move this country forward in a way that’s best for the greater good. We cannot let the spoils of indecency, bad character, and no morality infiltrate our political parties and lead to their ultimate demise and our country’s peril.

We must each stand our ground on the issues not based on how we think our stance aligns us politically, but how those positions keep us grounded in our morals and outlook for the greater good. We can stand on opposite sides of the political aisle and see many things differently. We can be made stronger by these differences. However, there will always be issues to which there is no grey space for variance in opinion.

Love is Love.

Black Lives Matter.

People over Profits.

All are Welcome Here.

Whom one loves is not political. Equality and justice are not political. Masks are not political. Speaking out against a racist, misogynist, incompetent narcissist is not political. We must stop turning these into political statements. Republicans and Democrats alike should see these as universal truths. These are the issues that should unite us, not divide us.