Opinion: American millennials have lost the art of political debate

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Opinion: American millennials have lost the art of political debate

From left, Republican primary candidates Sen. Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich during the GOP presidential primary debate at the University of Miami's Bank United Center in Coral Gables, Fla., on Thursday, March 10, 2016. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

From left, Republican primary candidates Sen. Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich during the GOP presidential primary debate at the University of Miami's Bank United Center in Coral Gables, Fla., on Thursday, March 10, 2016. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

TNS

From left, Republican primary candidates Sen. Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich during the GOP presidential primary debate at the University of Miami's Bank United Center in Coral Gables, Fla., on Thursday, March 10, 2016. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

TNS

TNS

From left, Republican primary candidates Sen. Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich during the GOP presidential primary debate at the University of Miami's Bank United Center in Coral Gables, Fla., on Thursday, March 10, 2016. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Andrew Leach, advertising senior

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Today, Americans are left with the vision that Donald Trump, the famous – or infamous – billionaire, is holding the highest office in the United States. Most of us are still coming to terms that this “literally just happened.”

There’s fury coming from both sides of the political spectrum, but liberals are no longer able to see where conservatives are coming from and vice versa. That is dangerous, friends.

Both Democrats and Republicans sit in their bubbles, continuing to shift to their extremes. Both sides have become so polarized to the point where neither can see the other and instead resort to ridiculous name calling. Just look at Facebook.

There are many factors that have brought the country to this point, but the one factor that needs to be addressed is this: our generation doesn’t debate.

The recent rise in “political correctness” and “safe spaces,” especially in American universities, have crushed our abilities to debate with one another. It’s taught us that if we debate, we run the risk of offending someone because we said something they don’t agree with. This mentality is a serious problem. Every person is entitled to their own opinion, and as 2016 has shown, there are a lot of different opinions out there.

When we don’t debate, we allow people to carry their beliefs without the worry they’ll ever have to question them. Facts cease to matter and when a powerful voice like Donald Trump starts telling people certain behavior is excusable, people believe him.

And when people start believing Trump is the answer to everything, will the opposition calling his supporters “stupid racists” change their minds? I cannot speak for everyone but I have never changed my mind because some stranger on the Internet called me an idiot. When debate is stifled, we are left with this unproductive name-calling.

This is a major reason why someone like Donald Trump is president. We bicker, we call people different than us names and they come back at us with a vengeance. Nobody wins.

We need to debate. When we debate, we learn more about each other. We have the opportunity to teach someone the reasons they could be wrong.

I’m sure conservatives would be more than happy to point out the flaws they see in Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton and Democrats would be more than happy to point out the flaws they see in Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

It’s time to come together and educate one another with facts on the important issues. It’s time to drop the fear of debating and to start proving people wrong with legitimate facts. Facts beat ignorance every time if you are willing to listen.

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