by Elizabeth Campbell

Respectful discourse when it comes to political topics is often difficult. If you think about it, this makes sense. Political beliefs revolve on deep personal values, and when you question someone’s values it upsets them. However lately it seems as though if you question someone’s political beliefs than you are just plain wrong.

This is upsetting to see as a trend because thoughtful discourse is important when it comes to progressing and expressing opinions. When you are talking to someone and they disagree with you, don’t call them a name, ask them why they believe what they believe. I have been in a number of situations where I would disagree with someone and they would murmur a snide remark that was unrelated to the topic of discussion, it is just an insult to my values.

How does this advance our country in any kind of way? It is time to recognize that political discourse is how we advance and improve our country. Name calling and division is not. A common trend on college campuses is for the left to attack conservatives when they decide to have a voice on campus and share their values that are often not shared in the classroom. What is so wrong with this?

These conservatives bring an important aspect to higher education. They encourage classroom discussion when the professors ask questions; they bring different viewpoints to campus that students may not hear. Even if those who disagree with conservatives aren’t willing to change their minds or values, are having other people who share these ideas not a good way for those students on the other side of the political spectrum try to strengthen their argument?

Instead of rudely dismissing and heckling people who have political differences with you, ask them why they believe what they do and explain why you believe what you do. Not only does this open more avenues for further discussion, but it makes you seem like a kind person. I would never sacrifice my values just because someone calls me a name, but it is my responsibility to understand why someone has the beliefs that they do.

So, conservatives, while you are being countered and heckled about your opinions, question the person who is criticizing you and see why they believe what they believe. Then when the opportunity presents itself to you, tell them why you believe in conservative values. Not only does this make you look like a respectable person, but it allows you to calmly share your beliefs and values.