Derogatoriness of Being a Republican at Latin

Blaike Young Staff Writer Now more than ever, and maybe just because I’m finally old enough to really understand what’s going on this election year, I really feel election buzz and debate in the air. In the 5 minute passing periods and in conversations in classrooms before the clock has hit starting time, there is always some mention of politics, of Romney and Obama, and whose policies are better or worse.  Even the service fair this year had people debating, and sometimes judging, on who went in what room. Intentional or not, they put Republicans for Victory on the right side, and Obama for the Win on the left side of the 2 rooms next door to each other. Just waiting outside for the next 10-minute session to start caused quite a stir about personal political beliefs. While the room on the right side often pulled in a large crowd, overwhelming belief at Latin tends to lean to the left. Before this year I had some sort of concept of where I fell on the spectrum of belief. I knew which policies, I believed in and which I didn’t, and often my beliefs didn’t fall in just one side, but both. I believed some things from the Democratic side and some things from the Republican side, and so I was a self proclaimed Independent.  This was part of the reason I signed up to take Honors Politics 2012. Not only did I really want to hone in on what I specifically believe, but also I wanted to educate myself about politics, and about an election that for the first time, will probably affect me. One of the first things Mr. Greer assigned the class to do was to take a typology quiz online. This short quiz, offering very black and white answers, was surprisingly spot on with my beliefs.  I got Libertarian. This group is somewhere in the middle, but leans to the right. Most of the other people in my class were given typology groups that either leaned to the left, or were as far left as you could get. There were only 2 or 3 others in my class who associated themselves largely with the Republican side. I realized as I continued on with the class that my standpoint on the economy was strongly Republican. I still held some beliefs that were on the left side, but they weren’t my priority views. This election really is about priorities. Truth is, no candidate will ever be perfect and no candidate will truly represent every single thing you believe as an individual. So you are forced to choose a side where the beliefs you hold most important, line up with the candidate’s. This is where it gets a little controversial. My priority this election is the economy. I could talk all day about why, but that’s a separate topic. However, when talking to a group of people at Latin, I often find that as a female, me saying my priority isn’t women’s issues can create confusion, and sometimes even anger. Obviously as a female, I do not want to go back to the days of severe inequality, where I would have no opportunities to vote and no opportunities at all in the workplace. I think the media has taken conservative view and pushed way farther than reality. Do I think that if Romney gets elected that women will be taken back to the place they stood 50 years ago? No, I do not. First of all, the amount of uprising that will occur if such legislation is presented is enough alone to prevent us from going back in time. Second of all, do I believe Romney is in any way against women? No, I do not. I once again can go on a tangent about how campaign finance is really driving party polarization, and that’s why Romney is forced to say things sometimes with an anti-woman connotation, but I think if you really thought about it, you could figure it out on your own. The reality is, is that candidates say a bunch of things they don’t really believe because they have to do so to even make it through the primary. This is the nature of American politics. Latin has an extremely educated group of people, but sometimes I find that many don’t do enough research. Looking at one side of an argument is not enough to educate you about the opposite side. It’s easy to be stubborn, to decide that you have your beliefs, and you don’t want to change them because you already know everything that you could possibly know. It’s totally fine to have strong beliefs, and it’s a good thing to have them, but I ask you to be open to others as well. I do often meet derogatory looks when I say that I would probably associate myself more with the Republican side than the Democratic side. I often get looks from my female classmates who don’t understand my priorities this election or how I could side with someone the media portrays as anti-women. Taking the politics class has solidified my ideas, but that was after learning significantly about both sides. Being a Republican does not mean that you are totally against everything Democratic. Being a Democrat does not mean that you can’t agree occasionally with Republicans. Just because the parties have polarized, does not mean we have to.]]>