Political debates should remain amicable
As we draw closer to Election Day, it’s hard not to feel the tension in the air. On campus, we’ve heard students in deep conversation over which candidate would be better suited as president. Casual small talk can instantly transform into all-out verbal warfare. With so many opinions buffeting each and every one of us, sometimes it seems wise to remain silent.
However, no matter your political leanings, you will eventually have to explain your views to someone regardless of whether they care. Politics mold the very fabric of who we are as a people. That’s why The Colonnade staff believes it’s important for us to embrace the opinions everyone shares. Diversity is the burning heart and soul of this university, never to be snuffed out.
A standard students should hold to is this: Never get offended. This may seem nonsensical, but in reality, everyone is going to have differing views and opinions. It’s best to not get angry over something so trivial since there will always be a winner and a loser. It’s science.
This, of course, is easier said than done. Here in our newsroom, many of us have differing political and moral views. As cliché as it may sound, though, we would be a very boring people if we all believed the same thing.
So how does one achieve peace in times of argument? I’m sure like many of you, a well-rounded debate can be healthy. There are a few things to remember when jumping into the fray.
First, know the difference between people who are seeking attention and those just wanting healthy conversation. The ones who want to throw a tantrum over their beliefs are usually not worth your time and you will more than likely make a fool of yourself in the process.
Second, try to stay on topic. Getting into long-winded bunny trails eventually tire both parties and sometimes lead to forgetting the topic.
Third, and the most detrimental: Try to put yourself in their shoes. This is the secret ingredient for objectively based debates. If you don’t understand something about your opponent’s religion, ask them to clarify. If you didn’t understand a word they used, slow them down and get the definition. Half of the debate is understanding where your opponent is coming from.
Another tip is know when to back down. If the debate is getting heated, be the bigger person and try to still the flames. Reassure them that this debate isn’t for money, blood or fame. It’s just to expand the knowledge of all realms in the political game. It’s not a weakness to know when to quit. It’s just playing smart.
Again, diversity is beautiful. If there is anything important to learn from deliberating with one another, it’s that in the end both parties can walk away learning something about the “person.” Even if all their facts are old news, everyone applies it to their lives differently.
So, as Election Day approaches, know that the power of the debate should never be taken for granted. No one should feel attacked. Everyone has a say in politics. That’s the beauty of America; the beauty of us.