By Thomas Vacca–

I have finally had enough of our political conjecture about which candidate will be the best president. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Justice Scalia, Justice Ginsburg, Ronald Reagan, Tip O’Neil, Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich, what do all these names have in common?  They’re examples to follow from our political history as a nation; divided on issues, but willing to work together for the good of our country.

Donald Trump’s most recent rally in Chicago was disrupted by Bernie Sanders supporters as well as other anti-Trump protesters. The goal was to disrupt the process and they in return succeeded. The rally ended in many fights and physical altercations, ignited by both sides of the political aisle. Yes, not only has Mr. Trump has undoubtedly set the tone and bears responsibility for his supporters inciting any violence, but he’s a disgrace to the Republican Party and is not representative of the party as a whole.

On the other side, Bernie supporters and anti-Trump activists are just as responsible for what happened at this aforementioned rally in Chicago. It is not a victory for democracy when a presidential candidate, no matter how much you disagree with him, is not allowed to speak at his own rally.

Our country is extremely polarized and our millennial generation is not exactly living up to the inclusive and tolerant generation it claims to be. Whether you’re a republican or democrat, the majority of us have only tolerated those who of whom we agree with, while vilifying all the others.

Then you have those in the middle who wish to have civil discourse, and more importantly now than ever, it’s their time to speak up. Moderate millennial democrats, call out the far left. The same goes for the moderate republican millennials. This is our time as a generation to stand up and thwart any one person who believes that yelling and violence are a way to solve problems, period.

Beyond the call to college students here. I am calling on political science professors and anyone else who brings up politics in their classes. You also bear a fair share of responsibility as well. I’ve been in classes where professors cannot control discussion and to an extent incite their own opinion while allowing the voice of the other side to not be properly heard. If a college does its job properly, students should be graduating with a skeptical and independent mind – with the ability to identify each side of an issue in a reasonable manner. Unfortunately this is not the case given the evidence in of today’s political climate.

We can do one of two things as a university. We can promote inclusivity for everyone and be an example which includes pro-choice and pro-life supporters alike, includes gay marriage and traditional marriage advocates, universal health care or privatized system advocates, as well as anything else controversial. Further, we should get those groups together to actually have an intelligent discussion so we can better understand each other.

The second is to do nothing; to not challenge students in the classroom of their beliefs, to not bring up the other side of arguments, and to allow the division to continue. This will not only bury our heads in the sand, but bury our country to the point where it cannot properly function. Both sides claim free speech is our most important right, in yet they both act to shut the other up. That is hypocrisy on a level unimaginable. We cannot elect fringe candidates any longer. They cause congress to halt and the people to become unreasonable.  Overall, the old cliche always stands the test of time – united we stand, divided we fall.