We again find our­selves  in the midst of election season and ten­sions are high as Repub­licans seek to maintain control and Democrats push for a “blue wave.” Political loy­alties easily spill into our daily life and can affect how we per­ceive or treat other people, but this isn’t the way things should be.

Hillsdale College stu­dents pride them­selves on learning to order the soul and exercise reason, yet far too often, we act as if people with dif­ferent political oppo­nents are the morally corrupt enemies of the United States. While having dis­cus­sions and debates on policies and social issues are important and ben­e­ficial, demo­nizing those who dis­agree with us does nothing to further America’s welfare or our own beliefs. It only leads to viewing others as evil.

In this election cycle, let’s focus more on what brings us together as Amer­icans, while still having bal­anced dis­cus­sions about our dif­fer­ences. Part of what has always made our nation great is our ability to hold diverse opinions, and the simple fact that we’re allowed to do so. Who or what we vote for is not nearly as important as the kind of people we are. The best thing you can do this November is not to get out and vote; the best thing you can do — espe­cially when con­fronted by a dif­ferent way of seeing things — is to be a kind and gra­cious person.