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The good, the bad and the downright ugly: Remember to play nice when talking politics

selfie123By: CHRISTINA CLARK
Staff Writer
clark66@umail.iu.edu

It’s time for another divisive round of politics in the United States of America.

The 2016 presidential election has started off with a bang with the caucus in Iowa showing a very different outcome than was initially expected.

While the mud has gone flying between the top candidates—and it will get uglier the closer it gets to the election—it is interesting to realize that all of this has a common thread: every candidate has a different take on making America “better” somehow.

The people are divided by the “how” but the goal of all is the same.

Hillary Clinton’s paper-thin lead over Bernie Sanders brought to light the intense divide within the Democratic Party. There was a shakeup on the Republican ticket with Donald Trump coming in second to Ted Cruz with Marco Rubio bringing quite a showing at the polls as well.

It is still very early with New Hampshire being the next caucus to watch. Indiana won’t be weighing in with our primary results until May 3. So we have a few months yet before it becomes personal.

Our concerns as a nation come to light when we as Americans start the public discussion of where our troubled thoughts travel to, what the many possible solutions might be, and how the rest of it all fits together. Sure, a lot of misunderstanding, horrible communication and downright lack of education comes to surface as well. It isn’t all sunshine and roses, it shows the ugly side of being American as well. We all want our voices heard and, sometimes the most intelligent are not the loudest. Sitting in a coffee shop or at a stray bar, we’re bound to overhear conversation that we don’t agree with.

That’s the thing though—then we start talking. Whether it’s engaging the person with the offending opinions, or bringing up the opposing point of view in one’s circle of company, it gets us talking about what matters most to us. This is a powerful portion of the American dream that gets often forgotten: we can speak about what matters to us freely and openly.

Don’t forget, while we might be screaming inside at someone who sees the world through an entirely different shade of tinted glasses, they’re looking out for their own interests as well.

Our education, our personal circumstance, our upbringing, our religious affiliation, our local community and our inner circle all go into defining what shapes our opinion on what a “great” nation looks like.

We won’t all agree, but it’s clear that this election is going to stir emotions and upset at the polls. Keeping the conversation open and civil, despite flaring tempers, should be considered. The need for a candidate who speaks his or her mind, who understands “the game,” who wants to “change the game,” and bring or leave out whatever they wish is going to appeal to a different subset anywhere one goes. Keep your minds and ears open throughout this democratic process.

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