The Scarlet “R”

I am a Republican. Now that I have admitted that, I might as well walk around sporting the dreaded, scarlet “R” because of the current associations that come with my political party. Donald Trump has completely tainted the reputation of Republicans and plays into the stereotypes that make this party appear as pretentious, hateful, exclusive, close-minded and full of White men. Although those adjectives basically describe the entirety of Trump, we all need to recognize that there is a difference between Trump and Republicans.

The fact that I’m a 19-year-old, White and privileged person undoubtedly has something to do my political ideologies. I grew up in a safe suburb of Cincinnati with a very fortunate and comfortable life. I am a Republican, as are most people from the area that I grew up. I am here to make one huge distinction clear: this does not mean that I am a bigoted racist or a greedy sexist. I am an educated woman and definitely not a Trump supporter. I believe in being fiscally conservative and the importance of giving a voice to Middle America, but I also believe in equality, global warming and bettering our whole country. So, believe it or not, it is possible to be a Republican and a decent human being.

The previous election was between two extremes of the political spectrum and the lack of moderation set the stage for people voting against one candidate and not for either one. Although there were both avid Clinton supporters and Trump supporters, supporting one front runner over the other was more of a way to oppose the other. Last November became a race of who could insult the other more and less about policy and true politics. Although Trump “won” this battle, Republicans still lost this last election.

The sheer fact that Trump is our current president is something that goes beyond my mind’s capacity. I cannot comprehend how the U.S. has come to this conclusion and elected a completely unqualified and irrational man as our president. But what I really struggle with is why every single Republican in America is now also lumped in with Trump. I’m not here to claim that Trump supporters, alt-right believers or White supremacists don’t exist. They do, but they are not the majority of Republicans. The Republican Party does not approve of Trump’s actions, no one does. He has somehow managed to receive the record for lowest approval rating during his first term in American history with a staggering 34 percent as of last Monday’s New York Times poll.

So no, Republicans aren’t supporting his lack of action in anything or his distasteful slander against everything, no one supports it except for the select few extremists that give the entire party, and nation for that matter, a terrible reputation.

Our country is meant to have two political parties. I don’t say this with implications that the Democratic Party wants to eliminate republicanism, but right now it seems as though the whole country does. The saying, “if you aren’t a Democrat when you’re young, there is something wrong with your heart, and if you’re still a Democrat when you’re old, there is something wrong with your head” is taken way too literally today. This seemingly harmless phrase is a common perception of the two most prevalent political parties in the U.S.; Democrats ruling with their hearts, and Republicans ruling with their heads.

Well I’m here to officially claim there is nothing wrong with either party, and the simple fact that society takes this expression as truth is what’s destroying the infrastructure of our political world. Our country could use more socially liberal input in Trump’s administration, but it could also use some reasonable conservative policy to fix some of the economic policy of the Obama administration. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that shaming every Republican based on Trump’s platform is not the way to solve anything.

By: Sydney Sanders ~Head Photo Editor~