My Plan To Destroy The GOP

My Plan To Destroy The GOP

It's brilliantly easy, truly.
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It is no secret that the past decade or so in the political arena has been full of surprises, both fortunate and otherwise, depending on where you stand. 2016 was a year full of political upsets, ultimately ending with the finale that was Donald Trump’s victory and subsequent inauguration as the 45th President of the United States of America. This election was unlike anything we as a nation has ever seen, from the candidates to the campaigns to the scandals to the media and beyond. The Republican party conquered the United States at almost every level of leadership. Here we are now, almost two months into this red majority and still going strong.

I have a plan. Understand, it will actually be quite easy to implement as it is inadvertently underway already throughout the Grand Ol’ Party.

First of all, the smugness and arrogance of those involved in the Republican party has become manifest. I have seen this especially on college campuses and from young republican organizations and individuals. Politics have shifted from the concept of a conversation with a power-backed end goal to a power-driven conversation that consists of intersecting monologues that serves no other purpose than to draw attention, fame, and self-glorification. When an individual, community, or political party is unwilling to perform serious self-evaluations, there stands no room for ultimate success or forward movement as a nation. If the GOP chooses to see politics with the mindset being that those who are opposed to them must surely have a desire and motive rooted in ill-will and evil, there will be no possibility of discourse. In order to subdue the GOP, I would make a concerted effort to celebrate the victory of the Republican party and dispel any doubts about the pure validity or direction of values, legislation, or execution. Additionally, I would encourage that every Republican consciously claim the moral high ground in every subject area. Because the stereotype of the GOP tends to be the pro-life, Bible carrying, path of righteousness walking, freedom chasing, hard working men and women, you don’t have to work very hard to convince yourself that you are surely the better person.

The second step in my plan to obliterate the future of the GOP would be to ensure that the party had no future. The 2016 Clinton presidential campaign lost in part to the fact that you simply cannot recruit support by insulting your audience. Countless individuals who were on the fence when it came to candidates - and even some voters who were in support of Hillary - ended up in opposition to the Clinton machine because they were tired of being called racist, homophobic, islamophobic, etc. every step of the campaign. There is no possible to recruit support when the audience that is vital to a movement is shoved away repeatedly by insults. Interestingly enough, Republicans are doing the exact same thing right now. The future of the Republican party will be carried on the shoulders of the youth. With the increase of young conservatives has also come the rise of young, famous conservative and libertarian personalities. What’s remarkable about these personalities is their impressive ability to channel passion, frustration, and determination to a very specific audience and cultivate an incredibly enthusiastic, wild, and occasionally rowdy reaction. Words and phrases such as “snowflake” and “stupid millennials” are hurled at the left in what appears to be an attempt to break down arguments, convictions, and training. Whether or not these may be true in a particular instance, the chances that either a clueless, educated, on the fence, determined, or politically unsure young adult is going to respond positively to being called an “indoctrinated, privileged, idiotic, uneducated millennial” are very unlikely. My plan to destroy the GOP would involve encouraging those on the Right who are outspoken and have a widespread platform to continue to preach to the choir, making the crowd go wild. If we are able to avoid engaging in intellectual and culturally relevant marketing and conversational techniques to recruit more young adults and students to the side of the Republicans using facts and understanding discourse, there will be no future for the Republican party simply because there will be no one to pursue the party that shut out those who didn’t agree, didn’t understand, or simply didn’t know.

Finally, my plan to destroy the Republican Party would lie in the pursuit of persecuting those with ideas that differ. This was shown especially in the elections this year, where all but war broke out within the republican party between Never Trumpers and Trumpkins. Both claimed a moral high ground. Both held disdain for the other. Both declared that those who were not on “their side” must surely despise their nation and were clearly compromising their values by not voting or voting for Trump. The national party isn’t the only community that saw this division, however. State, local, and college Republican parties and clubs saw this as well, and one could argue that these smaller-scale disputes were significantly more impactful than those on the national party level. The laws of the world, individual communities, religions, and the United States are all interpreted differently based on an individual’s background, beliefs, and worldview, making it nearly impossible to expect all individuals with similar persuasions to fall into a pattern of exact values. Nevertheless, in order to destroy the future success and growth of a political party, it would be crucial to select and make exclusive a specific set of values and ostracize all others who chose to not align. While no perfect order may be created, the simple illegitimating of all other opinions within the party would eventually smother the potential of the party.

Destroying the credibility, legitimacy, and potential future of a political party is not an easy task. However, when those in the party itself are slowly pulling the trigger on themselves, the job of destroying said party is made significantly simplier. Through encouraging the arrogance and moral high ground of the Republican party, stereotyping and attacking the youth in the United States, and ostracizing those who hold different values or worldviews and then turning a political party into an exclusive club with an expectation for behavior and belief, I will devastate the potential of the GOP.

Cover Image Credit: Conservative Daily News

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I'm A Christian And I Have A Tattoo

Stop judging me for it.
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Like most people, I turned 18 years old during the course of my senior year of high school.

I'll never forget the months prior to my birthday, though, because I spent hours making a decision that would be with me forever, the decision of where I would go to get my first tattoo and where that tattoo would go, and of course I spent a lot of time deciding on the font, the colors, and all of the other aspects of the tattoo I wanted.

Throughout this time, two things stood firm 1) the fact that I was going to get a tattoo, and 2) the six letter name that it would consist of.

Now, three years later, I'm 21 years old and I still get the occasional dirty look at church on Sunday or in line at Walmart, and more often than not this look is accompanied by the following words: “Why would you do that to your body when God says not to?"

A few weeks ago at a new church, a woman came up to me and said, “How can you consider yourself a Christian when you have that blasphemous thing on your foot?", I simply smiled at her and said: “God bless you, have a good week." I let it roll off of my back, I've spent the past three years letting it “roll off of my back"… but I think it's time that I speak up.

When I was 8 years old, I lost my sister.

She passed away, after suffering from Childhood Cancer for a great deal of my childhood. Growing up, she had always been my best friend, and going through life after she passed was hard because I felt like even though I knew she was with me, I didn't have something to visually tribute to her – a way to memorialize her.

I, being a Christian and believing in Heaven, wanted to show my sister who was looking down on me that even though she was gone – she could still walk with me every day. I wanted it for me, for her. I wanted to have that connection, for her to always be a part of who I am on the outside – just as much as she is a part of who I am on the inside.

After getting my tattoo, I faced a lot of negativity. I would have Leviticus 19:28 thrown in my face more times than I cared to mention. I would be frowned on by various friends, and even some family. I was told a few times that markings on my body would send me to hell – that was my personal favorite.

You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks on you: I am the LORD.
Leviticus 19:28

The more I heard these things, the more I wanted to scream. I didn't though. I didn't let the harsh things said about me and my choice change the love I have for the Lord, for my sister, or for the new precious memento on my left foot. I began to study my Bible more, and when I came to the verse that had been thrown in my face many times before – I came to a realization.

Reading the verses surrounding verse 28, I realized that God was speaking to the covenant people of Israel. He was warning them to stay away from the religious ways of the people surrounding them. Verse 28 wasn't directed to what we, in today's society, see as tattoos – it was meant in the context of the cultic practice of marking one's self in the realm of cultic worship.

26 "You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying. 27 You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard. 28 'You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD. 29 'Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot, so that the land will not fall to harlotry and the land become full of lewdness. 30 'You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am the LORD. 31 'Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God."
Leviticus 19:26–31

The more I have studied my Bible over the past few years, the more I pity those who rely on one verse in the Old Testament to judge and degrade those, like myself, who made the decision to get a tattoo for whatever reason they may have for doing so.

This is because, you see, in the New Testament it is said that believers are not bound by the laws of the Old Testament – if we were, there would be no shellfish or pork on the menus of various Christian homes. While some see tattoos as a modification of God's creation, it could also be argued that pierced ears, haircuts, braces, or even fixing a cleft lip are no different.

24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor."
Galatians 3:24-25

In Galatians, we read that the Old Testament law was created to lead people to Jesus. However, we know that Jesus has come and died on the cross for our sins. He has saved us, therefore we are no longer held to this law in order to have a relationship with the Lord. Our relationship with Him comes from believing that Jesus came to Earth to die on a cross for our sins, and repenting of our sins – accepting Jesus as our Savior.

I am a Christian, I have a relationship with the Lord that is stronger than it has ever been, and - I HAVE A TATTOO.

I have a beautiful memento on my left foot that reminds me that my sister walks with me through every day of my life. She walked with me down the red carpet at my senior prom, she walked with me across the stage the day I graduated from high school, and she continues to be with me throughout every important moment of my life.

My tattoo is beautiful. My tattoo reminds me that I am never alone. My tattoo is perfect.

Stop judging me for it.

Cover Image Credit: Courtney Johnson

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The Pulse Affect

Where do we stand 2 years later?

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It's been 2 years since the infamous Pulse shooting and everyone, including myself, is still affected. I remember so clearly how I was too scared to go to any pride events afterward. I knew that's what the shooter wanted, was for us all to retreat back into the closest we so bravely came out of, but still, I couldn't bring myself to leave the bed.

The news had hit me harder than any of the previous shooting. While it was still a mass shooting such as what was happening at the schools, the target was more specific. He went in there with the mind of not just killing people, but people associated with the LGBT community. The scene was so horrible, that some of the first responders have even mentioned having PTSD still from the scene.

The news had sunk everyone's heart and many flocked to social media just to find out if friends were there or not. The toll was 49 innocent people who had lost their lives to a despicable individual I refuse to name. I feel he received too much attention in the media as it was.

It also didn't take long for the focus to switch from the victims to the "how could we prevent this"—which isn't a bad question, but the two sides who seemed to differ on opinions so much just turned it into yet another screaming match. That being said, those who weren't on the extreme end of it found themselves seeking comfort from each other. For many people, this attack did scare them, but I think within the horrifying event came a new sense of community.

For those who had family or friends that were victims of such an attack, my heart goes out to you. The mourning doesn't stop, and while I know there are no words that can be strung together to bring closure, I can show my support and continue to fight for equality and help educate whoever I can. The tragedy isn't something I wish on anyone, and the wound stills fresh to me despite not having any personal connections to anyone.

To end this story on a hopeful note, today people are doing positive things in honor of the victims of the pulse attack. One article writes about a couple who spends their time cleaning up the area of litter and mentions others donating money, objects, or their own time in hopes to help anyone in need. One direct quote from this article is "Last year, more than 2,500 people volunteered their time in support of Acts of Love and Kindness, and while there was no official tally yet for this year's outpouring, it seems likely that many will go uncounted."

I encourage people today to reach out to one another, no matter orientation or identity. Love one another and don't let things strip others of their human qualities. We are all human and have the ability to do good. The shooting was tragic, but we should not let it keep us from celebrating who we are and embracing each other with open arms. Don't let the worlds hate scare you or stifle your creativity. We will not let anyone push us back into the dark, no better their best effort. Live on and keep your heart open to love.

Cover Image Credit:


https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-gathered-near-building-holding-flag-at-daytime-919194/

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