The Woes of Being a Young “Republican”

My name is Chelsea and I am 22 years old and have a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, and I am politically active. I believe that as a resident “young person” it is important to vote and take responsibility for what is happening in our country. I had a comfortable childhood and grew up in a “republican” household. I use air quotes because this bipartisan system has never really represented the political beliefs I hold. We are often told that we typically adopt our parents political ideas just as we would their religious belief system. When my generation is coming up with stupid hashtags they are trying to shake things up. We are not afraid of disrupting the status quo. We will rock the boat. I personally believe that this is a good thing however I am a little more cautious and only like to rock the boat when it is necessary. I am not sure that I would argue that my politics are representation of this, but I suppose I’ll let you decide for yourself, in a lengthy strange disposition of random ideas that are my world view and life experiences and not to mention a run-on sentence.

If you were to look at my political registration it would read republican. If you put me in a room full of self proclaimed liberals I would seem conservative. If you put me in a room filled with conservatives I would be politely ignored for my leftist tendencies. I find that we let other people determine who we are politically by comparison. I went to a conservative high school, where religion ruled over politics and the general population was like minded. California may be a “blue state” by my school was red. I thought that when I went to college I would find more open-minded people. I thought that narrow-mindedness was a side effect of being conservative. I wasn’t wrong but I wasn’t right.

I went to school out of state, in a red state, but I found myself at a blue school. I was living my life inside-out. I though that because everyone was from different places people would be more accepting, because thats was being a “liberal” is all about right? Wrong. I found that when I was sitting in a lecture hall next to these “bleeding heart liberals”, I was looked down upon. Like my politics were primitive and subhuman.

I will give a brief breakdown of my politics. I am very much a libertarian. A real libertarian. To make light of it, I don’t want the government taking my money or telling me what to do. I am economically a republican and socially a democrat. I have been asked why I am not an independent, and I don’t have an uplifting answer for you. The independent party is growing and becoming more influential and maybe if I wasn’t so lazy I would change it, but right now I feel like if I were to change what I was registered as it would be because other people have made me feel ashamed, and I simply won’t succumb to that.
For along time I didn’t feel like I fit in anywhere. I know because of the color of my skin I have to use the word “discriminated” carefully, but truthfully I have felt discriminated against, as a white republican female.

It was really difficult for me to be told that I could never understand because of circumstances I could not help. I didn’t pick where I was born or the comfort level of my childhood. What I could change was what I did with my adult life. I picked this major because justice is why I get up in the morning. It sounds so stupid when I say it like that but it simply is. I am anxiously awaiting august which is when I will have my first day of law school. I want justice for everyone independent of class,race,gender,orientation,religion, guilty or innocent. The majority of my political science classes were about race. When I had a difference of opinion it was openly stated by my professor that it was because I was from a different demographic. It stung and it was humiliating. I was putting myself outside of my comfort zone and trying my hardest to understand but I was told I never would be able. I found this counter productive and it still makes me angry when I think about it, but this article isn’t about how the “liberal” kids were mean to me at school one day. I also felt it from the other side, from “my people”.

I wasn’t republican enough. I am pro-choice and I support gay marriage. If you ask some people these beliefs alone are enough to discredit me as a republican. The republicans that disown me for these beliefs tend to be the same ones that have confused their religious morals and political opinions. I myself am a spiritual person however I find my religion to have no bounds on my political opinions(as long as I am allowed to practice).

I think we are all guilty of stereotyping the opposing side. I think that we are quick to say that republicans are fascist and that democrats are socialists. We are all a little bit of everything and we all have the right to hold beliefs outside of the boxes on the registration sheets.

The reason these thoughts came about is due to the recent Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage. I think that this is exciting and a long time coming. I am no less republican and no less moral for feeling this way.  I encourage all of you to believe whatever you want and to call yourself whatever you want because you pick your political identity. You do not have to define yourself by what you are not. Political parties change and evolve because they reflect the beliefs of people, and sometimes people change.

Gay Marriage Legalized!


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