I'm A Millennial Republican And I'm Tired Of Apologizing For My Beliefs

I'm A Millennial Republican And I'm Tired Of Apologizing For My Beliefs

We live in a country where different view points and ideals are supposed to be celebrated.
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Yeah, yeah, I know the drill. I'll be in the process of making a new friend or in the middle of a classroom discussion and all of a sudden, I'm forced to "come out" of the political closet as a conservative. This shouldn't be such a big deal. We live in a country where different view points and ideals are supposed to be celebrated. I should not be embarrassed about my own political views, and I should not be forced to try to hide them for fear of being labeled and stereotyped as things that I am not.

Yes, I am a very proud millennial Republican. I represent a very small part of our large generation, though sometimes I question how small our group really is. Are there really so few millennials with conservative viewpoints, or are people seriously afraid to speak their truth? I respect my liberal peers and their rights to their own views, and I appreciate those of them who respect me in the same way. However, I do not respect those peers that automatically label me a "racist" or a "bigot" because I am proudly pro-life and I believe in limited government. It makes no sense.

SEE ALSO: Why I, A Republican, Am Pro-Choice

I was afraid to speak my mind in high school when we discussed current events in this one particular class. My fear was by no means the teacher's fault, as she encouraged open debate and everyone to voice their opinion. However, my fear to say what I believed in was brought upon by my own classmates. How sad is that? I opened my mouth one time, and it was the only time I ever did, because I was automatically shut down by a group of three girls who called me uneducated the moment I said a word. I was uneducated because my belief was different than theirs. Crazy, right?

It's just not okay. Why should we on the right be forced to be tolerant of other's views and beliefs and then not be given the same respect? I don't experience this intolerance from every liberal person, and it would be a completely unfair generalization to say so. I just wish that there was a way for conservatives to not be seen as a group of stupid racists. Are there stupid, racist, bigoted conservatives? Of course there are. I do not by any means agree with every word that is spoken by every person who identifies as a Republican.

So, to the people who put all conservatives in a group, just as you ask us not to do with different people on the left:

Take time to hear us out before you automatically assume we're just like Donald Trump. People can believe different things than you and still be decent, compassionate humans. Republicans as a whole are not racists. There are racist Republicans, but they do not make up the majority of the Party. Stop stereotyping us, because most of us honestly don't stereotype you. Don't make me apologize for my beliefs in the land of the free.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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A Florida House Committee Is Undermining Your Vote On Amendment 4

Before felons can regain their right to vote, they must pay court fines, fees, and take care of any other "financial obligations." Essentially, this is a poll tax.

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Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, was added to the Constitution of Florida after being passed this last midterm election on November 6, 2018.

Amendment 4 restored the voting rights of Floridians with prior felony convictions after all terms of their sentence have been met, including parole and probation. This amendment only applies to felons who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

On January 8, 2019, an estimated 1.4 million ex-felons regained their right to vote. This is monumental. Prior to this amendment, Florida was one of four states that used felony disenfranchisement. Amendment 4 gives voice, and rightfully so, to felons who have served their time. Amendment 4 is also putting to rest, finally, years and years of disenfranchisement and suppression.

Now, only two months after its passage, the House Criminal Justice Committee is trying to water down this piece of legislation. This is a direct violation of the will of the 64% of Floridians who voted for the legislation as is. This amendment was not to be "clarified," as Governor DeSantis put it, but rather to be self-implementing.

However, the House Criminal Justice Committee proposed a bill that would tack on some extra qualifiers in order for felons to be enfranchised. The bill will require court fines, fees, and other "financial obligations" (in addition to fees administered in a judge's sentence) to be paid in full before a felon's voting rights are restored. This seems awfully similar to a poll tax to me. Obviously, this is going to affect people without a lot of resources rather than white-collar criminals who can afford a $500,000 bond.

This new qualifier will prevent felons from voting based on the money that can be coughed up as if they don't have to worry about their finances long after they leave prison.

Some may argue that these felons shouldn't have committed a crime in the first place. However, I would argue that holding a felon's vote hostage on the basis of money is unconstitutional.

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