By Melissa Hurwitz

If you think that the rivalry between the republicans and democrats is bad right now, think about conflict 200 years ago.

In our generation, politics has always been a hot button issue. It has developed into a taboo, something to avoid talking about in order to not start conflicts. It is strange, because what makes us different as human beings are our different ideologies, dogmas, and values. Most differences are both celebrated and explored, but politics is not in the current day. However, in the times of prominent authors such as Paine and Burke it was the only conversation to have.

Nevertheless, differences in political opinion have fueled a lot change and progress within the United States. These uncomfortable conversations continue to happen as we deal with various issues. We as a country are in a highly intense geopolitical atmosphere. Examples range from domestic to international and the whole spectrum of issues. We have the North Korean missile testing, free speech rallies in Charlottesville and Boston, DACA getting repealed, and the protest against conservative speeches at both Stanford University and Middlebury College. While current authors take stances on these issues, none come close to the polarizing stances of Paine or Burke. Paine, being adamant that fundamental, earthshattering change is for the better, shocks the system of many people. Those advocating for systematic change have their roots in this theory. By contrast, Burke insists that disruption in hierarchies is for the worst. Many in the 21st century likely agree to this at least partially: unsettling the status quo is both intimidating and has the probability for disaster.

With these polarizing stances in mind, consider that all of these events have created conflict, but that is not to say all conflict is completely bad. Society has demonstrated an appetite for conflict, whether large scale or not, in order to progress and move forward as a world. I believe that we will become stronger as a nation and learn from the mistake of the past. The first step towards this goal is to open up the floor for discussion, hold firm to our beliefs, and learn to make necessary changes in order to create a better future.