This article is difficult for me to write. It's difficult because, when discussing politics, I always choose to stay quiet or to stay on a level ground. I love talking about politics, and all sides of politics too. I love researching political issues, and I love discussing why some people believe what they believe and how they think we can improve America as a whole. I have loved politics since I was 12, and I have genuinely formed my own opinions as I've grown up. Although my parents and I share similar views, I am actually less moderate than my parents which is something that is very uncommon in today's society. I read a lot of political articles, and I read them from all sides. I also have friends from many different sides of politics and I really enjoy hearing why they support certain candidates and movements. Overall, I love politics.
But in recent years I've grown to hate it. I hate talking about it, I hate the jokes about it. I hate watching television shows that discuss politics, and I hate celebrities that join in on the narrative. I hate when I'm in a group of people and someone makes a political joke just assuming everyone is in agreement about those beliefs. I hate talking about politics because it has become an intolerant and extremely toxic environment.
I am not a liberal or Democrat nor do I consider myself conservative or Republican either, mostly because I'm very much against political parties and extremes as a whole. But in recent years, I've grown to really oppose the Democratic party. Not because I don't have liberal beliefs; I support gay rights, women's rights and all rights such as that. I'm the most inclusive, live-and-let-live person you will every meet. I strongly disagree with the government getting involved with the people's personal lives, so I agree abortion should be legal, and I think marijuana should be legal as well. Not necessarily because I support these things, but because I'm against big government. Some of my views are democratic so I don't oppose the current-day liberal's party because of beliefs.
I think a large part of today's democratic party has become toxic, exclusive and all around mean. Before someone jumps down my throat, calls me a bigot or de-friends me on social media and possibly real life, I'm not saying everyone who is a Democrat is this way. I know a ton of understanding, kind and mature liberals who love political discussions and are respectful of people's opinions, and I love talking about politics with them. One of my favorite teachers was liberal, and he was both respectful of everyone's opinions and incredibly educated in his own. And I'm not saying every Republican isn't this way either, as I am sure there are plenty of conservatives out there who aren't understanding, kind and mature, and instead help spread the political negativity in today's society. So before anyone writes a response piece to this article, I understand the world isn't black and white, and I understand there is good and bad from all sides.
But political extremists don't understand this, at least from my point of view. I am sick of being called a bigot because of my opinions. I'm sick of having my words twisted, and my intentions being misread. I'm sick of being silenced and I'm sick of being scared to talk about what I actually believe. Altogether, I'm sick of being bullied because I of what I support. The world isn't black and white. How ironic that the same people who preach about inclusion, open-mindedness and diversity are the ones shutting people down and bullying people into submission because of one aspect of their entire being. There are gay Republicans who are more afraid to admit they're Republican than to admit they are gay. Don't people see how twisted this has all become?
I am not sorry I believe in states' rights over the federal government, or that I believe the second amendment is incredibly important. I am not sorry I believe in less federal government involvement, in a strong military (and in supporting that strong military), and that I don't believe in the government paying for higher education. And I am especially not sorry that I thought Hillary Clinton was incredibly unqualified and an extremely dangerous candidate for our country. I am not sorry for my conservative beliefs, just as I am not sorry for my liberal beliefs.
We need to stop calling people bigots. We need to stop acting like the people who did vote for Donald Trump are stupid, uneducated or even evil. We need to stop judging people's worth or character off of political opinions. I can tell some people silently judge me for my opinions. I even get nervous people will stop being my friend because of it, and that is absolutely ridiculous. I would never stop being someone's friend because of something so silly as political opinions unless they actually were racist, homophobic, sexist or a bigot. Which guess what? I am not and neither are most people if you actually listened to their opinions.
This is a risky article to write because I did not hold back my opinion in fear of being judged or inciting criticism. I did not sugarcoat it or try to stay in the middle of the argument like I usually do because I'm sick of being respectful over everyone's beliefs and not getting the same courtesy in return. I'm no longer allowing myself to be silenced with fear. All I'm asking is to have my opinions and other people's opinions heard and respected. I am tired of the hate, the toxicity and the all-around division, and even if most choose to ignore this article and continue to try and shut others down, I still won't be silenced. I'm done playing along with this dangerous narrative. I believe what I believe, and I respect what others believe whether it's aligned with my beliefs or not. If you don't see it this way, then you are the problem. Not me.