Unless you’ve been living on another planet from August-November of 2012, you knew that 2012 was an election year. Election years are annoying for everyone. There’s mudslinging on both sides of the political spectrum and it seems like every candidate has some annoying catch phrase or slogan or hateful message that plays in literally every single advertisement on TV. It was enough last year to make me want to cover my ears so I wouldn’t have to listen to the politicking anymore. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, we’re all dumber for having heard it all.
But alas, the election is over. The country felt that incumbent president, Barack Obama, needed four more years to help fix our country. While that’s not who I voted for, I accept this win as what my country thinks is best and I will move on.
Some of you, however, have not. Literally all over the internet are things such as “Ew! I kissed a Republican!” or “I really like this guy, but he’s a Republican”. Being a republican is not actually a disease; it’s not contagious, you can’t catch it. It’s not for people that are stupid, red-neck or inconsiderate. Yes, we do have those people who subscribe to republican political beliefs, but to say that’s all the party is is a gross generalization. I’m sure there are democrats who don’t make you proud to call yourself a democrat, but we can just let that slide for now.
I am a Republican. I believe in small government. I don’t 100% love the idea of universal health care. Fiscally, I believe that “republican” ideals are what is better for our country. I’m not here to debate whether I’m right or wrong. I’m 21 years old, I’m allowed to be wrong sometimes. But just because I voted republican does not mean I don’t support same sex marriage or equal rights or a woman’s right to choose. I support all of those things whole-heartedly.
I shouldn’t be nervous, or afraid of ridicule when telling someone my beliefs. I shouldn’t be the butt of a joke, and, frankly, I’m pretty tired of it. I accepted it during election season, and I accepted it with each gaffe made by former President George W. Bush. I’ll even accept the jokes made about Bachmann and Palin, but don’t turn me into a joke. Don’t ridicule someone who has different beliefs than you.
Luna Lovegood, my favorite Harry Potter character, believed outrageous things. She believed hella cray sh*t everyday and Harry and the gang accepted her for it. Shouldn’t we be glad we live in a country where we’re actually allowed to have a different political opinion? If you want to talk to me about why I’m a registered republican — and I mean talk, not scream — I’d be more than happy to listen. But don’t turn me into a butt of a joke.
I don’t hate everyone. I don’t hate democrats or liberals. In all honesty, I don’t give a flying floop what political party you are a member of, as long as you like to party. If you are a good person who is not the spawn of Satan, I’ll probably like you even if we have different opinions. Why am I, as a Republican, often not granted the same courtesy? In fact, based on my beliefs, I’d probably be considered independent or “right down the middle.” But I call myself a Republican. And I shouldn’t feel weird about it. I shouldn’t feel like a bad person because of it. And I shouldn’t be chastised because of it.
Molly is a senior Journalism/English major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has an obsession with English bulldogs, Matthew Perry, and beauty products. Follow her on twitter @gwacmolly and see how awkward awkward really is.