The Right Way To Discuss Politics

The Right Way To Discuss Politics

The importance of establishing respect within political discussion
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Whenever I tell someone that I’m a political science minor, the question of my own personal political beliefs inevitably comes up.

People assume that because I’m interested in the study of politics, that I have a strong political opinion. In my case, this is true. However, I do not always feel comfortable sharing my opinion because I fear disagreement and conflict with my friends and family.

I become especially squeamish when asked about my political opinions. I have strong convictions and I enjoy discussion. However, I know that there are certain people that will never stray from their own opinions, no matter how convincing and knowledgable the other side of the argument may be. These types of people often become angry and instead of actually listening to their opponent's opinion, focus solely on their next angry rebuttal. Having discussions with these types of people is especially frustrating for me and therefore I try to avoid it. I don't want people dislike me because I have the gall to challenge their opinions.

There is no denying that politics can become a controversial topic of discussion. Political parties, in their very nature, are about differing values. However, our political culture has become so polarized that it seems inevitable that a differing opinion of politics means that two people must be enemies.

I’m here to challenge this notion.

I am not here to neutralize everyone’s political opinions, nor am I here to discourage political discussion. Rather, I am I here to encourage civil discussion that ultimately focuses on respect.

With the presidential election quickly approaching, it is extremely important that people become educated and passionate about politics. After all, these politicians may be running our country in the future. However, being interested in politics and developing opinion doesn’t have to mean losing relationships with those that disagree with you.

You undeniably have your own strong opinions, but it is also important to listen to the opinions of others (no matter how frustrating it may be if they differ from your own).

I may completely disagree with your political opinion, but I can still show enough respect to listen to what you have to say. I can value an intelligent and civil political discussion with someone that I disagree with as long as we both listen to one another.

We are all stubborn in our own ways, but obstinate patterns of thinking limit our life’s relationships and our ability to understand the world. If we only spent time with people with whom we always agreed, our lives would be pretty boring and we would be pretty ignorant.

Disagreement isn’t always pretty, but it can be respectful and even constructive. Divergence of opinions is what makes our country a great place for everyone. However, we must learn to appreciate and respect our own differences, rather than see them as a partition within our society.
Cover Image Credit: The Liberty Standard

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10 Things I Threw Out AFTER Freshman Year Of College

Guess half the stuff on your packing list doesn't really matter
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I spent the entire summer before my freshman year of college so WORRIED.

I also spent most of my money that summer on miscellaneous dorm stuff. I packed the car when the time finally came to move in, and spent the drive up excited and confused about what the heck was actually going on.

Freshman year came and went, and as I get ready to go back to school in just a few short weeks (!!), I'm starting to realize there's just a whole bunch of crap I just don't need.

After freshman year, I threw out:

1. Half my wardrobe.

I don't really know what I was thinking of owning 13 sweaters and 25 T-shirts in the first place. I wear the same five T-shirts until I magically find a new one that I probably got for free, and I put on jeans maybe four times. One pair is enough.

2. Half my makeup.

Following in the theme of #1, if I put on makeup, it's the same eyeliner-mascara combination as always. Sometimes I spice it up and add lipstick or eyeshadow.

3. My vacuum.

https://secure.img1-ag.wfcdn.com/im/d5ea3c03/resize-h2000-p1-w2000%5Ecompr-r85/3021/30217778/Express+6+Volt+Cordless+Bagless+Handheld+Vacuum.jpg

One, I basically never did it. Two, if I REALLY needed to vacuum, dorms rent out cleaning supplies.

4. Most of my photos from high school.

I didn't throw them ALL away, but most of them won't be making a return to college. Things change, people change, your friends change. And that's okay.

5. Excess school supplies.

Binders are heavy and I am lazy. I surprisingly didn't lose that many pens, so I don't need the fifty pack anymore. I could probably do without the crayons.

6. Cups/Plates/Bowls/Silverware.

Again, I am lazy. I cannot be bothered to wash dishes that often. I'll stick to water bottles and maybe one coffee cup. Paper plates/bowls can always be bought, and plastic silverware can always be stolen from different places on campus.

7. Books.

I love to read, but I really don't understand why I thought I'd have the time to actually do it. I think I read one book all year, and that's just a maybe.

8. A sewing kit.

I don't even know how to sew.

9. Excessive decorations.

It's nice to make your space feel a little more cozy, but not every inch of the wall needs to be covered.

10. Throw pillows.

At night, these cute little pillows just got tossed to the floor, and they'd sit there for days if I didn't make my bed.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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We're All Thinking It, I'm Saying It: Too Many People Are Running For President

I'm all for options, but man, do we really need 24? I mean, I can barely pick a flavor of ice cream at Baskin Robbins let alone a potential President.

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There are, currently, 23 Democrats running for President. On the Republican side, there's, of course, Trump, but only one other candidate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld. Democrats have a whole range of people running, from senators to congressmen, a former vice-president, and even a spiritual advisor. We can now say that there are DOZENS of people running for President in 2020.

Joe Biden has been leading the pack for quite some time now. He was even leading polls before he announced his campaign. Although he is the frontrunner, there really is no big favorite to win the nomination. Biden has been hovering around the mid-30s in most polls, with Bernie Sanders coming in second. Other minor candidates in the hunt are Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris.

After the surprising defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016, Democrats have become electrified and have a mission to take back the White House after winning back the House of Representatives in 2018. There are so many people running in 2020, it seems that it will be hard to focus on who is saying what and why someone believes in something, but in the end, there can only be one candidate. This is the most diverse group of candidates ever, several women are running, people of color, the first out gay candidate, and several more.

There could be a problem when it comes to debate time. I mean, the first debate is next month. Having around 20-plus people on stage at the same time, debating each other kinda sounds like a nightmare. How can someone get their point across in the right amount of time when someone else is going to cut them off? Debates are usually around an hour and a half. So, if you divide it up, each candidate would get just under five minutes to speak. That would be in a perfect world of course.

Democrats seriously believe that they can beat Trump in 2020. They say they have learned from the mistakes of 2016, and have the guts and the momentum to storm back into the White House. By July of next year, there will be only one candidate left. Will they be able to reconcile the divide during the primaries? We will see. It will surely be a fun election cycle, so make sure to have your popcorn ready and your ballot at hand to pick your favorite candidate, no matter what party you lean towards.

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