A plethora of Americans on both sides of the political divide are having a difficult time this election cycle when it comes to mustering respect for those who embrace the opposing presidential candidate.
The problem is most pronounced among registered voters who support Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, with 58 percent saying they have a hard time respecting a person who supports Republican contender Donald Trump; 40 percent said they have no such trouble, according to the Pew Research Center.
Meanwhile, the proportions were essentially flipped among Trump supporters, with 40 percent saying they struggle to muster respect for Clinton supporters; 56 percent said they have no trouble doing so.
These results, which are derived from a recently conducted Pew Research Center survey that included 2,120 registered voters, underscore the ever-contentious nature of the 2016 presidential race — one that has come along with scandals, bitter division and other unpalatable elements.
It’s clear that many Americans are having a difficult time understanding opponents’ ideological viewpoints and electoral choices, but the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Council, told Faithwire that Americans will need to find a way to come together on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 9 when all is said and done.
“Wednesday is ‘imago dei’ Wednesday,” Rodriguez said, invoking a theological term used to encompass the notion of humans being created in God’s image. “Let us embrace the idea that … every single American is created in the image of God without exception — Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives.”
The preacher said it’s important for Americans to remember to treat one another “with mutual respect” and with love “because that’s what God calls us to do.” Rodriguez said it will be essential — even in the midst of what is sure to be intense frustration among the losing candidate’s supporters — that people find a way to unify.
“We’re going to have to shake this thing off and we’re going to have to work together,” he said. “We have some serious issues that will never be addressed through a fragmented (populace).”
Other Must-Read Stories: