Whenever we think about politics in America, we think about Republicans and Democrats. When we think about Republicans and Democrats, we think about the specific viewpoints, policies, and stereotypes associated with them. We think that in order to identify yourself as a Republican or a Democrat, you have to absolutely agree with everything that party says, does, believes, or who it elects. Well, that’s just not true.
Lately, it seems that we have been more concerned with the prosperity of the Party than our own individuality. Yes, we should encourage people to side Republican. Yes, we should elect people who properly represent us and unite behind them. Yes, uniting behind our elected person is generally easier when we all have certain issues we agree on. However, I don’t believe in trashing my own views because the Party thinks otherwise.
With the whirlwind America is going through right now in terms of political, religious, and social issues, not all of us are going to agree. With the “cookie cutter” idea of everything a Republican should believe, it comes across as though if you believe differently on one issue, well, you’ve identified with the wrong party. Continuing this mentality is borderline dangerous.
Republicans are known for supporting certain things, such as a strong military, gun rights, small government, and so on. Well, you don’t have to fit into the tight squeeze of a box we associate the Republican Party as to be a member. You can disagree. You can think on your own. You can not agree with who is nominated for the Party, and so on.
Seems common sense, right? But opposition towards people who do not think exactly like everyone else in the Party seems to continually grow. Republicans are attacking each other for simply thinking differently, which is only weakening us as a whole. That’s the irony of the situation—we praise unification and furthering the Party, but the “one way” mindset does the exact opposite.
I was raised to always be skeptical. Whether it was of what I was eating, who my friends were, or what I was being told. I get my news from different sources, never trust that fries from one restaurant will taste as good as fries from another, and have always had an open mind about what to believe and accept. That’s something I encourage in everyone, because having an open mind when it comes to what people think, do, and believe is better for everyone in the long run. It strengthens the nation, it strengthens the Party, and it strengthens you as an individual.
Don’t let stereotypes and generalizations make you afraid to voice the beliefs you hold. Don’t be afraid to think for yourself and expand your mindset. Challenge, question, and debate everything. Never accept things as they are just because everyone else in the Party believes that way. It’s okay to not agree with everything the Party thinks. You are first and foremost your own person.