How it really feels to be a college Republican

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When it comes to politics, I am not known for being the most vocal. Sure, I tend to subtly slip in a political Facebook post every once in a while. And sure, I have received some backlash from some people who don’t agree with me. I respect that not everyone will have the same opinion that I possess, because let’s face it, we live in a world of billions of opinions.

“You support someone like Trump; you’re an awful person.” This is one of the many misconceptions I have heard. This could not be more wrong. Just because I’m a Republican does not mean I support Trump. Even if I do, that does not mean I’m an awful person. At least I don’t think I am. This may be up for discussion, but I personally don’t think I am.

You spend your time worrying more about an unborn baby than people losing health care.” Am I not allowed to care about both? According to the misconceptions of Republicans, we only care about an unborn life and we disregard the living. Nope, not even close to being true. Contrary to what some believe, Republicans do have hearts. I know, pretty insane, right? Not to mention, this is not a political party issue.

“You are so privileged.” Not only is this offensive, but this isn’t even a valid argument. Anyone can be privileged: Democrat, Republican or moderate. Privilege comes in all shapes, sizes, races and ethnicity. Please stop categorizing us like we’re all spoiled rich kids.

If we’re being honest, I feel like I’m being judged when people find out I’m a Republican. I get the eyes-of-disappointment and head tilt like they’re shaming me because I have opposing political views. How dare I disagree with you? How crazy is it that I, a human, do not have the same thought process as you?

In the beginning of fall term, I took the bold move to join the College Republican club on campus. When I first posted about it on Facebook, I just sat there, staring at the “post” button. I went ahead and did it. Then I posted about the coverage on Facebook Live in which I discussed being a Republican on campus.

And there came the backlash.

I didn’t want to have to justify myself, but I did anyway. I posted that, yes, I am a Republican, but that doesn’t mean I am a Trump supporter. Nor does it mean I’m an awful, selfish, spoiled college student.

I’m always willing to listen to opposing viewpoints. In fact, I encourage it. I respect Democrats’ opinions and I like hearing their side of things. If we all just listened to each other, really listened to each other, maybe there would be less of a divide between the parties. This polarization isn’t making anything better.

So my fellow Republicans on campus, wherever you may be, please come out of hiding. We shouldn’t keep our opinions to ourselves in fear of being judged. I mean, I’m exposing myself by writing this article.

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