Time and space to think are never a bad thing, and after the elections this past November, both were necessary.

In the past weeks I have realized that being a conservative on this campus is pretty exhausting. I am a white male who votes red more often than not and it would seem that to some on this campus this is a complete condemnation of my character. Now that is not to say that everyone on this campus feels this way but as a whole this campus can be militantly liberal and because of this there are some conservatives with a siege mentality. It is not that I am against people having strong feelings and opinions about politics; I actually believe that this is a very good thing. Where I differ however is in the way people on this campus from both sides of the aisle go about expressing their beliefs.

For a campus that prides itself on its openness, inclusion, and maybe even its tagline “an unique intellectual adventure,” a lot of the debate on campus is very one sided.  I have found debate on this campus to very rarely be understanding and intelligent but more often to be combative. It is very often a case of us versus them with no acumen, no willingness to listen to the other person’s point of view. This is very dangerous.

A society in which no one is willing to listen to each other is not one that will succeed. If people would talk about the issues, discuss the policy and its implications instead of just the groups, we would all be better off.

It is a shame that we live in such a partisan society where our politicians have to be so uncompromising; but we as a campus do not have to further that system.

Sometimes this campus needs to understand that voting republican does not mean that you hate the environment and abortions and that voting democrat does not mean that you love Obamacare and immigration.

It is because of this idea that you can vote for issues and not a party that people should stop blindly voting down party lines.

I was on Yik Yak, the newest social media app to take campus by storm, on election day and I saw a lot of really good political commentary as well as some bashing of both parties. However, what really was frightening to me were the people saying things that insinuate that people should not even think about voting one direction or the other. Exercising your right to vote is a beautiful thing and something that everyone should do.

However, exercising your right to vote intelligently is something far more beautiful and something that will make this country a better place.

I do not care whom you vote for or why you vote for whom you do. I only ask that you be willing to understand the other side even if you do not agree and that you think before you vote.

Whether you vote red, blue, green or purple does not matter to me. More discussion is always and good thing. Vote often, think even more.

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