Being Liberal on a Conservative Campus.
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Politics and Activism

Being Liberal on a Conservative Campus.

How joining a new community taught me how to be tolerent.

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Being Liberal on a Conservative Campus.
Barrack Obama speaking

Being a democrat, like a lot of things in life, is a choice that will come to define the way that people look at you. Like your favorite sports team, people pass judgement on who you are and what you think based purely on the fact that you are a democrat. Though this choice is largely influenced by your upbringing, it changes depending on what kind of school you go to, what media you watch, and what kind of friends you have. I grew up in a democratic household, in Massachusetts, so naturally I had little opposition to my opinions, save a few different friends of mine with parents from different parts of the country. So, naturally, I assumed that this is how the world was, mostly democrat and liberal, with some conservatives. Boy, was I wrong. Coming to Norwich was an eye opening experience, as it introduced me to the opposite environment from what I grew up in. At my college, many people come from military families, and are very conservative. So, naturally, it took me a while to come to terms with the new group of people that i would be associated with, and how to deal with how I was being viewed. The biggest change for me was that I actually had people unfriend me on facebook or yell at me in passing because I am liberal. Sometimes just walking in the chow hall and a fellow cadet I knew shouted “ LIBERAL!!” and pointed at me from a few tables away. This was not a common occurrence, but has happened several times over my 2 years at school and still surprises me. This kind of treatment didn’t offend me, or scare me, only surprise me to how quickly people would assume what I thought based purely off my status as a liberal. Yes, I am a liberal. But I’m not a feminist. Not a hippie. Not a prius , vegan, hyper plant loving liberal. But, I support same sex marriage. Health care for everyone. Affordable college. Common sense gun rights. Support fighting global warming. These are things that a lot of people agree with, but because I’m a liberal, I’m super left wing and can’t possibly agree with a conservative. It’s this mentality that separates us. I don’t hold it against anyone for being conservative or right wing. What I do is evaluate what issues you support, and from there I decide whether we can agree. I will judge someone based off of their political opinions, issues they support and reasons for supporting them, not what group they ally themselves with. This is the attitude that needs to be adopted, the idea that even though we support differing sides, we can discuss. We can learn. We can not yell just to yell, and hate just to hate. Sit down and discuss. Learn where the other person comes from before jumping down their throat for disagreeing with you. Maybe, just maybe, this country will learn something from each side of the political valley. Then we can actually make progress, together as a nation.

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