Has Republican Become a **** Word?

Michael Herman

One of the more significant message my parents instilled in me was the ability to think for myself.  This doesn’t solely mean that I try to make good life choices, but also that I form my own opinions based on personal experiences and facts.  My parents encourage me to have my own views and not only adopt theirs or the media’s. I believe I have formed my personal views based on facts and can therefore state: I am proud to be a Republican.

At Latin, many believe the word “Republican” has an outdated, insensitive and exclusionary connotation.  It is a foreign word – a label that students and faculty cringe when they hear.  Being a Republican at Latin makes you a minority; a drop of red in an ocean of blue.  But slowly this year some small drops of red at Latin have formed together, creating the Young Republicans of Latin.  This club, only formed a few months ago, has the goal of spreading a progressive message at Latin and plan on making “Republican” a positive word, not one that students distrust and dislike.

I asked a number of students what came to mind when they thought of the word “Republican,” and noticed a recurring opinion throughout the school.  To Romans, “Republican” is typically a negative word, something they would never label themselves.   When I asked freshman, Nick Tolliver, his thoughts on the party, he answered, “They are out of touch.  They are holding on to morals and views that don’t work in our time anymore.”  When I heard this answer, I was not surprised, as it was exactly what I expected.  In fact,  many Republican leaders, like Senator Marco Rubio, are saying some of the same things.

Latin students are exposed to a more liberal environment. Many of their parents consider themselves Democrats and they, in return, adopt that label too. One could also argue that media is biased in portraying conservative values as old fashioned. Yet, the views that Republicans believe in are still crucial to today’s society.  To make the word “Republican” less scary and threatening, students need to understand the bigger picture and view the word through a different perspective.  What’s wrong with believing in smaller federal government and giving states a little more say?

With the establishment of the Young Republican of Latin club, hopefully being a conservative won’t be a bad thing.  Students don’t have to become right wing radicals, but rather I encourage them to become more aware of the other side of politics.  I don’t want the Republican Party to be seen as a group of close-minded individuals who only want certain types of people as its members.  We are proud students who believe in the American dream and wish for success and happiness for everybody.  While it may not always be easy, we believe in our conviction and “dare to be right” at Latin.