Listen to both sides of the issue

More stories from Nick Lanier

With both Texas senate candidates coming to Wichita Falls this week, students have a fantastic opportunity to hear the ideas and values of both candidates in the lead up to election night Nov. 6.

Beto O’Rourke held a rally in Kiwanis Park Oct. 29 at 6:15p.m., with the Democratic candidate hopeful to upset the incumbent Ted Cruz. Republican Cruz will be on campus Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. in Akin Auditorium.

In todays age of political drama and divide, it is essential to listen to both sides of the issue. To better understand each candidate and their values, it is necessary to give them both time and attention, rather than ignore and berate them for their views. There are people on both sides of the aisle who are guilty of this toxic behavior.

Comments left on the tweet above prove that political discussion in 2018 can go one of two ways. The discussions can be lighthearted, informative and productive, or they can be full of hatred and trolling. Those who argue for the sake of arguing are putting blinders on themselves when it comes to learning about the core issues. It is in fact these very people who ought to attend the rallies and listen to the opinions of the opposite side.

Beto supporters should therefore make a point to attend the Cruz event, just as fans of Cruz should’ve attended the Beto rally. This is not in hopes to have their opinions changed or ballot box decision altered, but to humanize and build a better understanding of the other side of things.

All over the media, people show ignorance and a lack of understanding of, well politics in general, but most definitely of the views of side they don’t support. The media is not the only entity to blame. People don’t want to hear the other side. It’s like they don’t care or don’t respect the viewpoints. A nation without respect is a nation divided. By attending the opposing side’s event, people will be able to judge the candidates for themselves, without any bias from a media outlet, as well as removing one’s personal biases for a brief moment in time.

The race is setting up to be a close one, with the polls divided on which candidate is ahead. Both men have worked diligently throughout the campaign season to appeal to the voters. Beto travelled to every county in the state, and Cruz has managed to keep his strong base despite beginning his campaign much later. Every vote will be important.

Students should make sure that they voice their opinions on both candidates, in a productive manner, as debate and discussion is critical in a democratic society. Discuss the election and different campaign points with friends. Attend the rallies and, most importantly, sign up to vote. Your voice matters.

CORRECTION: An earlier version version of this story had it classified as a news/feature story. This story is a personal, guest column and reflects only the opinion of the author. The Wichitan regrets the error.