Welcome to 2017, where the political backlashes are plenty, the love is gone, and words hurt everyone. I was never one to spew my views all over social media. I was never one to start a battle in the Facebook comments on someone else's post. I certainly never wanted arguments to start between family and friends over what side of the political spectrum I fell under. I believe there is a time and place for everything, and politics at a family dinner don't go together.

I grew up in a small town filled with hardworking blue collar people where being a Republican meant that you loved the troops, you flew an American flag in your front yard, and you're overwhelmed with patriotism when any Toby Keith song played. I loved this lifestyle. Then, I came to college and began studying liberal arts. This is what my very Republican grandfather would say "ruined" me. I started coming in contact with people on the opposite side of politics, the white collared. I would sit in lecture upon lecture hearing about how our country is being destroyed. Then I would go back to my hometown and hear the elders talking about how this new president is going to help our country. Then I would go back to college and hear about his evils. I began studying rhetoric and trying to understand why people argued and never got anything solved. After devoting half of my college career to this, I still can not understand. My whole life I was surrounded by these certain views, came to college and challenged those views and now I'm stuck somewhere in the middle. On the political spectrum, I'm not left or right, I just love people and don't think we should hurt each other.

Silence is the key to keeping the peace. We've as a Nation finally got to this point. Stasis (the act of understanding all sides of the argument and accepting the opposing side as well as your own side) will never be achieved as long as the hostility remains. I understand that everyone wants to stand up for what they believe in. I understand that everyone has a voice that craves to be heard. I understand that we all can't give up the fight and let the other side win. But, we've become nothing but a bunch of crying toddlers yelling over who is right and wrong, who said what and who didn't, and who should be the line leader and who shouldn't. What would happen if we all stopped, became silent, and just listened.

Maybe when this happens, we can finally hear what the other side has to say and collectively make a change.