Protect Unity, Reject Polarization Ahead of Elections
Ahead of the 2024 General Election, people are urged to maintain unity. Don’t be provoked and don’t want to be polarized. Because the choice of political parties and presidential candidates is different, it does not mean that hostilities in society are allowed.
The people are very enthusiastic because they will welcome a new leader. But they are also afraid because the political year could make the atmosphere even hotter. This is because the campaign period can turn into a terrible time because people are divided into two camps and attack each other, both in the real world and in cyberspace.
To avoid a heated atmosphere during the 2024 Election, the people are obliged to maintain unity, even though their political choices are different. The Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security (Menkopolhukam) Mahfud MD stated that based on survey results, 56 percent of the public were worried that division or polarization would occur as a result of the election.
Political polarization is a situation when people are divided because they have different political views. This resulted in the community being split into two opposing camps.
When there is political polarization, it is dangerous because it can undermine democracy in Indonesia. In a democratic country, every citizen aged 17 years and over has the right to vote for the presidential and legislative candidates he likes.
However, because of polarization, some have lost their freedom to vote during elections. He was forced to choose a particular presidential or legislative candidate because of pressure from other camps, which were formed because of polarization.
In addition, the negative impact of political polarization is increasing intolerance in society. Indonesia used to be known as the most tolerant and friendly country. But because of political polarization, intolerance is everywhere and creates many problems.
When there is intolerance, certain presidential or legislative candidates can be hostile because they have different ethnicities, backgrounds or beliefs. When there is hostility, it spreads to the wider community and eventually they fight each other. Fighting is very dangerous because it can lead to years of hostility.
Political polarization can occur as a result of the many hoaxes and propaganda on social media. Hoaxes are deliberately made by unscrupulous people so that there are divisions in society and election failures. Hoaxes and propaganda exist not only on social media, but also on various (invalid) news sites and WA groups.
Don’t let the bad memories of 2014 and 2019 repeat when there are many hoaxes spreading in cyberspace. Starting from the fake names of certain presidential or legislative candidates, issues regarding their families, etc. Hoaxes are very troubling because they can ignite hostility between citizens and trigger brawls in cyberspace.
Hoaxes also have the potential to thwart elections because people are anti-certain towards the government. Don’t let the golput rate rise because of the many hoaxes on social media.
Therefore, people are asked not to be consumed by hoaxes and propaganda because it is dangerous for their way of life. Hoaxes can cause polarization during elections and divide unity in Indonesia.
National Police Chief Gen. Listyo Sigit stated that there should be no polarization in the 2024 Election. Nor should there be bad names for a camp that voted for a particular presidential candidate/party. He also reminded that when there is a dispute between the political elite, they can reconcile quickly. However, his supporters continued to be hostile and did not share in peace.
When there is political polarization, the situation on social media heats up. Social media, which was originally a place to relax and network with new friends, has drastically turned into a battlefield. Each camp that supports a particular party or candidate mocks the other camp with inappropriate names.
The public must understand that they cannot go around on their own, even if they only write statuses on social media. If there is a status that ridicules and inflames hostility in the 2024 election, then he can be subject to the ITE (Information and Electronic Transactions) Law. When caught because of the ITE Law, he must be held responsible for his mistakes in prison or pay a high fine.
Political polarization is very dangerous because hostilities between supporters can last for years, even though the election is over. Polarization results in revenge that seems endless. Whereas revenge can lead to many negative things.
The grudges that result from election polarization lead to real-world animosities, and fights can lead to physical altercations. Do not let there be brawls because of different political choices.
People need to understand that differences are normal. Indonesia is a democratic country, not a liberal country that allows its citizens to have free speech. All Indonesian citizens must understand and must maintain manners, both in the real world and in cyberspace. Don’t let the differences in camps and political polarization make them impolite and force their opinions. All Indonesian citizens are also advised to maintain unity ahead of the 2024 elections, during the campaign, election period, and after the election, so that there is no hostility due to political polarization. Differences are normal and between groups are expected to maintain conduciveness, even though their political choices vary.