What’s it like to be a Republican in the Trump era?

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It might be easy to assume that nearly everyone on North Central’s campus is a member of the Democratic Party, but this is not the case. As a matter of fact, a couple of times per term, Republican students gather to talk politics, participate in networking events with local government and more.

Despite the misconceptions and assumptions that Republican students face during the Trump era, there are some who are just like you. However, it can be hard to be a Republican on a democratically leaning campus, but Republicans have learned to share and listen to different viewpoints.

Photo courtesy of NCC Republicans

As Republicans, what do you find most difficult about being one during the era of President Donald Trump?

Tyler Mamrot, ’19, vice president of College Republicans: The biggest difficulty about being a Republican, right now, is that most of the population who is not Republican associates or blames us for everything that Trump does. People fail to address that there may be a disconnect between Trump and other Republicans; thus, leading them to make general assumptions that Trump’s assertions are also our beliefs. Which, logically, does not make sense.

Tanner James, ’19, president of College Republicans: The fear of having negative stigmas attached to you for expressing conservative views is always in the back of your mind. The last thing anyone wants to do is lose friends over politics, but that, unfortunately, happens quite often in this political climate. This is especially true of a college campus where you are the minority voice, more often than not. It can be very tempting to just say nothing at all, which is not right.

Grant Tuider, ’19, member of College Republicans: I think it’s difficult to have productive, tame conversations because Trump has such a controversial image. I am always up for a chat about political topics as long as everyone is respectful.

 What is some advice you would like to give your fellow classmates in terms of your ideas and opinions of the Republican Party?

TM: This has been said repeatedly, but the Republican Party needs to unify. There is a lot of cracking within the party, and that is very dangerous. If the party cannot even come to terms with itself, there is no way it will be able to come to terms with the Democrats. In order to make a positive impact in Congress, the party will need to figure out how to work within itself, so that it can positively work with the Democrats.

 TJ: Don’t be afraid to pursue or understand the ideas of the Republican Party. There is nothing wrong with expressing Republican ideas. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself in classroom settings that more than likely have a left-leaning bias.

GT: Don’t be quick to judge. Give everyone a chance to say their piece and make decisions from there. It doesn’t mean you always have to agree, but having discussions with unlike-minded people is healthy. There is far more than meets the eye with political parties because not every person agrees with every topic of the party. I have a diverse friend group of Republicans, Democrats and Independents, and we all get along very well.

How do you think the climate of politics, especially in the Republican Party, has changed? Not just on campus, but all over America.

TM: In the last couple years, it appears that people have developed an unwarranted trust in the media. Now, I don’t mean CNN or FOX News. I am referring to things like Facebook and Twitter. People share and retweet articles solely based on the headline. If people see a headline that aligns with what they think, they believe it and share. We are seeing the political version of the theory of confirmation bias take off, and that is very bad. I would strongly encourage people to do more digging before making decisions on their opinions.

TJ:  There has undoubtedly been a reformation in the Republican Party that has given a voice to a younger generation of conservatives. Along with that came changes in the platform, as well as a new push against excessive political correctness. We are seeing a new wave of conservative voices, like Ben Shapiro, that have really been a catalyst for this change.

GT:  I think Trump has created a possible identity crisis among conservatives because there are some Trump Conservatives and traditional Conservatives. Now, that doesn’t mean everyone fits into either category, but that seemed to be something common since his presidency. I hope the Republicans work out their issues because if not, it could cost them future elections.

 

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