A Rather Apolitical Note On Politics

A Rather Apolitical Note On Politics

Oh, what a surprise! A true shock! Another headliner mentioning Donald Trump.

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Our culture consistently struggles with an obsession over not getting enough of Trump, while simultaneously being way too overwhelmed with controversy over the 45th president of the United States. It's a country divided, for sure. Growing up in a conservative household, I saw the conservative side of things. The right made sensee to me. The left did not. As I aged, however, I came to understand the other side of things. Eventually, I realized (as the peacekeeper I've come to be, or at least tried to be) I cannot take a side. I understand certain ideas from both the conservative and liberal viewpoints, and I have come to the conclusion that choosing a side won't solve any of the actual issues we need to be solving.

During American Studies of my junior year (in highschool), we learned that George Washington explained that a two party system would be the ruin of this country. Hello?? Did we not think he had some point in saying this?? In my opinion, he was completely right. The news focuses so hard on one-sided stories nowadays, creating further division that political figures build their entire reputations and power off of. It's time to start electing politicians that focus on uniting the country, not rewarding one side over the other. Politicians need to start focusing on love, not hate.

No matter your position on politics, if you look at Donald Trump's record, you'll know he hasn't been consistent in his views. He's a businessman, and he sees most thing has a competition. Respect to him for the success he has had when it comes to business, but the downside includes that competition results in exclusion and isolation. Take tariffs, for example. If you don't keep up with news, you should still know trade with China isn't going well, thanks to the raising of taxes Trump has implemented as a 'business power move.' While Trump sees this as making more money for the country, at the end of the day its damaging our relationship with another incredibly powerful nation.

You can also look at this entire government shutdown debacle to quickly understand where division takes us… literally, nowhere. It's been weeks without progress, people, weeks. You really can't get a more basic example than this.

Here is an important message that American citizens throughout the history of the country have seemed to have quite a hard time getting through their head: just because someone is different than you, doesn't make them any less than you. At the end of the day, we are all human beings with the desire to be accepted and loved. When it comes to the issues that face our people and our Earth, we can't solve anything if we continue to disagree on everything. Let's stop arguing and start listening. I'm tired of watching screaming matches on my television of people that refuse to see eye to eye.

If you know me, you know I would do anything to have someone like Oprah to lead our country. Someone that truly wants to make this country a more inclusive nation and united home for its citizens. Not someone that is in it for the power, money, or fame. As diversity increases, technologies advance, and new ideas bloom, it should be fascinating to see where politics leads us.

At the end of the day, these are only several of my personal opinions, that I am sure will continue to develop over the course of my life (I do happen to be only 19 at the current time of writing this). Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, which is one of the most beautiful things about America. As an aspiring journalist, though, it can get difficult to dive into a politics with my mindset that so opposes division. It is hard to disagree on such big topics with friends and family, which is exactly why I refer to myself as a member of the 'purple party.' The perfect blend of right and left - a place where everyone is welcome and valued! The perfect place for the United States to get united, because as George Washington warned himself, a divided political system can only end in our nation becoming the Divided States.

Call me too full of hope, too optimistic, maybe even a little loopy to think people will ever be able to find common ground on today's issues. But I like to think I've managed to pack a lot of life into my 19 years on Earth, and the most important thing I've learned from this life is that it is always, ALWAYS, better to choose love over hate. So start treating others the way you like to be treated, because the big changes have to start somewhere, right?

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An Open Letter To Democrats From A Millennial Republican

Why being a Republican doesn't mean I'm inhuman.
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Dear Democrats,

I have a few things to say to you — all of you.

You probably don't know me. But you think you do. Because I am a Republican.

Gasp. Shock. Horror. The usual. I know it all. I hear it every time I come out of the conservative closet here at my liberal arts university.

SEE ALSO: What I Mean When I Say I'm A Young Republican

“You're a Republican?" people ask, saying the word in the same tone that Draco Malfoy says “Mudblood."

I know that not all Democrats feel about Republicans this way. Honestly, I can't even say for certain that most of them do. But in my experience, saying you're a Republican on a liberal college campus has the same effect as telling someone you're a child molester.

You see, in this day and age, with leaders of the Republican Party standing up and spouting unfortunately ridiculous phrases like “build a wall," and standing next to Kim Davis in Kentucky after her release, we Republicans are given an extreme stereotype. If you're a Republican, you're a bigot. You don't believe in marriage equality. You don't believe in racial equality. You don't believe in a woman's right to choose. You're extremely religious and want to impose it on everyone else.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are rooted in truth. There are some people out there who really do think these things and feel this way. And it makes me mad. The far right is so far right that they make the rest of us look bad. They make sure we aren't heard. Plenty of us are fed up with their theatrics and extremism.

For those of us brave enough to wear the title “Republican" in this day and age, as millennials, it's different. Many of us don't agree with these brash ideas. I'd even go as far as to say that most of us don't feel this way.

For me personally, being a Republican doesn't even mean that I automatically vote red.

When people ask me to describe my political views, I usually put it pretty simply. “Conservative, but with liberal social views."

“Oh," they say, “so you're a libertarian."

“Sure," I say. But that's the thing. I'm not really a libertarian.

Here's what I believe:

I believe in marriage equality. I believe in feminism. I believe in racial equality. I don't want to defund Planned Parenthood. I believe in birth control. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe in welfare. I believe more funds should be allocated to the public school system.

Then what's the problem? Obviously, I'm a Democrat then, right?

Wrong. Because I have other beliefs too.

Yes, I believe in the right to choose — but I'd always hope that unless a pregnancy would result in the bodily harm of the woman, that she would choose life. I believe in welfare, but I also believe that our current system is broken — there are people who don't need it receiving it, and others who need it that cannot access it.

I believe in capitalism. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, because I believe we have a people crisis on our hands, not a gun crisis. Contrary to popular opinion, I do believe in science. I don't believe in charter schools. I believe in privatizing as many things as possible. I don't believe in Obamacare.

Obviously, there are other topics on the table. But, generally speaking, these are the types of things we millennial Republicans get flack for. And while it is OK to disagree on political beliefs, and even healthy, it is NOT OK to make snap judgments about me as a person. Identifying as a Republican does not mean I am the same as Donald Trump.

Just because I am a Republican, does not mean you know everything about me. That does not give you the right to make assumptions about who I am as a person. It is not OK for you to group me with my stereotype or condemn me for what I feel and believe. And for a party that prides itself on being so open-minded, it shocks me that many of you would be so judgmental.

So I ask you to please, please, please reexamine how you view Republicans. Chances are, you're missing some extremely important details. If you only hang out with people who belong to your own party, chances are you're missing out on great people. Because, despite what everyone believes, we are not our stereotype.

Sincerely,

A millennial Republican

Cover Image Credit: NEWSWORK.ORG

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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