IAm

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS -

I am not racist. I am not ho­mo­pho­bic. I am not sex­ist. I am not a misog­y­nist. I am for free mar­ket. I am for stronger for­eign pol­icy. I am for small busi­ness. I am for my fam­ily. I am Repub­li­can.

With the re­sults of the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion stir­ring up a vast amount of emo­tions, I think it is im­por­tant to clar­ify some­thing: just be­cause I am Repub­li­can does not mean I am heart­less. The point of this is not to de­bate po­lit­i­cal poli­cies. It is to high­light what it felt like to be a Repub­li­can col­lege stu­dent the day after Don­ald Trump was elected Pres­i­dent of the United States.

On Nov. 9th, I went to class and in ev­ery sin­gle one there was a somber at­ti­tude. Pre-lec­ture dis­cus­sions were filled with phrases like “I am scared for our fu­ture”, “I am scared to be gay”, “How did this hap­pen?”, and, by far the most both­er­some, “Peo­ple that voted for Trump are racist, sex­ist, misog­y­nis­tic, ho­mo­pho­bic self­ish red necks”. Even my pro­fes­sors opened class with the as­sump­tion that ev­ery­one was sad about the re­sult of the elec­tion by say­ing things like, “let’s not talk about last night. Ever.” or “No class on Fri­day. I’m house hunt­ing in Canada.”

Well, I was not sad. While I un­der­stand that many peo­ple found the re­sult dis­heart­en­ing, I am happy that the Repub­li­can party is in of­fice for the next four years. I am happy that trade and mar­kets will once again be free. I am happy that we are go­ing to at­tack ter­ror­ism more ag­gres­sively in­stead of be­ing walked all over. I am happy that jobs will be brought back into the United States. I am happy that small busi­ness own­ers will fi­nally be able to reap the ben­e­fits of hard work and ded­i­ca­tion. I am happy that I voted in my first pres­i­den­tial elec­tion as a Repub­li­can.

With that said, I am not racist, sex­ist, misog­y­nis­tic, or ho­mo­pho­bic. My par­ents de­cided to raise my sib­lings and me closer to the city so that we did not grow up shel­tered and ig­no­rant of the di­verse world around us. I have never once felt that I could not date or be­friend some­one be­cause of their race, eth­nic­ity, or gen­der iden­tity. For that, I am for­ever grate­ful to my par­ents for the way they raised me.

The re­sponse to this elec­tion has made me, and many other col­lege stu­dents who voted Repub­li­can, feel that we need to hide or down­play our sat­is­fac­tion over our vic­tory be­cause of the fear that our op­pos­ing peers will la­bel us. That is not right. The con­tro­versy sur­round­ing both can­di­dates dur­ing this elec­tion took vot­ing based on char­ac­ter out of the ques­tion. In my opin­ion, nei­ther can­di­date has out­stand­ing char­ac­ter.

Si­lenc­ing those who sim­ply ex­er­cised their right to vote in our free na­tion vi­o­lates the core prin­ci­ples for which our coun­try stands. I am by no means say­ing that those who were not happy with the re­sults of the elec­tion do not have the right to mourn. They ab­so­lutely do. How­ever, I am say­ing that those who are con­tent with the re­sults should feel safe in ex­press­ing their joy and op­ti­mism for the fu­ture of this coun­try with­out the fear of be­ing os­tra­cized.

I am a Repub­li­can. I still care. I am not heart­less.

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