I'm sure everyone is just about done hearing about this upcoming election. Recently the battle for the highest position in the free world has turned into a scrappy cat fight about things that no one ever saw coming. Suddenly our debate about who our next President should be has subsided so far from what their actually policies are, to personal attacks about things the candidates (or their husband) has said or done years in the past. On that note I will preface this article by saying that I will be voting for Hillary Clinton, as I simply cannot accept anything Trump says as Presidential and I find him seriously unqualified for the job. If you're still with me, this article is not a Hillary puff piece or anything like that. It's about something much bigger than these two candidates.

The situation we find ourselves in with this election is a result of our own actions as voters. We expect our President to be held to higher standards than the average person, but this election especially, we have set the bar so, so low. There is no more calmness, no more coherent conversations, no one is listening anymore. Just like our representatives on capitol hill, the political divide in America is so deep and immense, that no one is willing to stand near it and hear the other side. Campaigns are getting uglier than ever, and we eat it up. We live for the drama and scandal. And that's okay when it's a gossip magazine, not for the position of President. It's okay for Democrats and Republicans to disagree with each other, to argue and debate, but we're beyond that. We're beyond debate. We are to the point of violent rhetoric. Attacking people physically and verbally just because of their political beliefs. Both sides scream at the other, calling them names and insulting them as human beings. Suddenly Trump supporters are deplorable xenophobic racists. Suddenly Clinton supporters are carpetbagging anti-patriots for support "crooked Hillary." No longer is anyone themselves anymore with a political belief. Everyone is suddenly labeled as the worst possible thing from the other side. Could you imagine Trump and Clinton supporters sitting in the same room for ten minutes without breaking out in some violent action toward each other?

This is why this election is more critical and important than ever before. Younger voters are becoming more and more vital to Presidential elections. Political Scientists argue that President Obama won his election in 2008 because of the youth vote, as they came out in numbers like never before. It seemed like Obama had surged life into the voting population, bringing in so many young people into politics that may have not voted otherwise. And the same thing happened again with Bernie Sanders, who was a college campus mogul. Whether or not you agree with what President Obama or Bernie Sanders stand for, anyone situation in which more people who don’t usually vote are excited to vote, is a great situation. But Obama and Sanders aren’t on the ticket, and I feel the youth vote is slipping away. In a time where the youth vote is increasing and increasing, we’ve hit a wall that could send it back to the depths.

Instead of being excited for the future of America, a lot of voters are despising this election. And I think it’s fair to pin a lot this dark rhetoric being throw around due to our older generations. As younger generations are growing more and more socially accepting, they face older generations who are desperately holding onto their old society. They keep trying to hold onto what they their America is. And no one “owns” America. As more and more younger generations grow that have the potential to end all of the hate and anger in this country. But this a watershed point. If they are totally turned off by this election and decide that it’s impossible for rational, cohesive, mutual discussion to be had, then they may never come back. And then we’re faced with dealing with what older generations think American should be. We need to be moving forward as a country. Not back to where we were. So I ask everyone: Stop the hate. Go out and vote with respect for everyone on both sides of the aisle, and maybe we can finally start talking about change when we want it.