There is a negative stigma associated with being a young Republican these days, or being a Republican of any age, really. I have found myself hesitant to admit that I am a registered Republican, which is a frustrating thing to deal with, especially during an election year. Here are just a few of the many reasons that I have become afraid to admit to my peers that I am a Republican.
1. The "Oh, you're a Republican?" voice.
There is really nothing worse than the look that you receive from people after telling them you are a Republican. The rolling of their eyes, followed by the disgusted tone they use when they ask, "Oh, you're a Republican?" It's almost as if they are asking you if you are an axe murderer, and it seems as though what they really want to say is, "Oh, you must hate poor and gay people." Somehow, being a Republican has become a negative attribute in the eyes of anyone that's not a member of the Party.
2. I'm tired of being told that I'm just copying my parent's beliefs.
Apparently, all young Republicans are only Republicans because their parents are, and they are simply regurgitating anything their parents have ever told them, because young Republicans must be unable to think for themselves and form their own political opinions. Why is this true for only young Republicans, and not young Democrats? Does being a Democrat mean that your parents never influenced your political opinions? I am afraid to tell people that I am a Republican, because the question of if my parents are also Republicans always follows.
3. People assume that every Republican is a member of the Tea Party.
You can't be a moderate Republican. As soon as you tell someone your political affiliation, they automatically assume that you are as far to the right on the political spectrum as it gets. People are always surprised when I tell them that I support liberal views on most social issues, such as gay marriage and abortion. In the eyes of many young Democrats, there are only the Jeff Sessions of the political world, and moderate Republicans just do not exist.
4. Donald Trump is a terrible representation of the Republican Party.
In this election year, it is impossible to not be associated with Donald Trump supporters when you tell someone that you're a Republican. You can almost guarantee that you will be asked if you are a Trump supporter, because come on, every young Democrat is a Bernie Sanders supporter, right? It has gotten to a point where I include the statement, "I hate Donald Trump," whenever I admit to my political affiliation.
5. Being a Republican somehow makes you wrong.
Many people treat Republicans as if their opinons are wrong, as if that's somehow possible. There is also the common assumption that people only support Republican values for religious reasons. While I will admit that there are many Republicans that still have a hard time separating Church from State, there are many logical reasons for being against national health care or gun control.
It shouldn't have to be this way. Anyone should feel comfortable telling anyone what Party he or she identifies with, regardless of if it's the Republican or Democratic Party. And this article is not to say that many Republicans do not treat Democrats in the same manner. The fact of the matter is that your political affiliation should not decide what kind of person you are or who you can get along with.