I’m A College Student and *Gasp* a Republican…and It’s Actually Not Funny

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.

[Lead image via]



    1. laura says:

      PREACH!!! As a Republican that goes to school in Oregon, I can totally relate to what you're saying. It's super annoying and condescending

    2. trampstudent says:

      I still find it incredible as a Brit that anyone could think universal health care could be anything but a good thing. The NHS has been running since 1948 under both right and left wing governments, or coalitions of both. It hasn't put the UK in any more of an economic crisis as any other country.

      As an outsider to the US political system, I would probably agree with people who think this opinion is strange.

      1. Emily says:

        Funny. As a Canadian, I find many problems with universal health care. Our universal health care is full of ineffiencies. The queues for surgeries and treatments are so long people die on the waiting list. A family friend of mine went from a stage 1 cancer patient to stage 3 while waiting to see a specialist. These stories are everyday occurences in our universal health care.

        Your comment is a perfect example of generalizing one's opinion as one of the masses. Not everyone who has universal health care thinks it is the best option.

        Just because you believe universal health care is the best option, it does not mean that you should make people feel like their opinion is not worthy and "strange".

      2. trampstudent says:

        I simply mean that out of the two options as they are currently, it is the most socially equal and fair. If someone can come up with a better one i'd be ALL for it – the same kind of thing happens in Britain sometimes, but for the most part they do a good job considering the volume of people they treat (and spending cuts, raised university fees, etc.). Mainly i am disagreeing with this assumption that universal healthcare puts nations in a fiscal crisis somehow.

        Isn't it better to pay money towards and institution everybody benefits from rather than a health insurance company? I'm no expert in economics (at all) but it seems illogical.

      3. Brittany says:

        I'm a US citizen but I dated someone from England who constantly criticized public healthcare over there. He felt that he didn't benefit because he generally took care of himself and rarely got sick and yet he was paying for the healthcare of people who didn't bother to take care of themselves because they can just add their name to a list of people who need help and receive it at little to no cost.

        The extra money he paid to receive universal healthcare like that was a detriment to his financial situation and put hardships on him that he didn't experience when he lived here in the US and just had insurance. I respect that you enjoy universal healthcare but I have not met anyone in person who has :-

      4. trampstudent says:

        Well I can see how that might be the mentality of a very healthy and lucky person but unfortunately not everybody is. I don't mind supporting a system that promotes equality between rich and poor, but that's my lefty opinion. Also, you can take care of yourself all you like, but I know quite a lot of people who have had incredibly bad luck – overactive allergies, glaucoma, depression, siatica, bipolar – who would not have been able to afford treatment without it and would now be very miserable.

        The NHS also provides free short and long term contraception (without having to go to some kind of clinic), STI testing etc. Unless you're a devout Catholic this is pretty good from a feminist point of view.

      5. Mel says:

        I'm British, but I live in the US and I absolutely prefer universal healthcare. The quality of care that I received in the UK was equal to the care that I receive in the US, but I never had to worry about losing my insurance, I never had to consider whether or not to make an appointment or fill a prescription if I was running low on money. My grandma in the UK could never live in the US, she would be bankrupted from copays, whereas in the UK she has received every specialized treatment that she needs. I also just think that providing healthcare is a moral imperative and that everyone, regardless of income or job situation has a right to medical treatment.

        I've found that the UK and the US simply differ when it comes to what they consider the most important values for a country. The UK generally values equality, where everyone is taken care of. The US values individualism more, where everyone is free to do as they wish and self-reliance is stressed. Obviously the UK values individualism and the US values equality too, but the balance in each country is different. Once you see things through this lens, it helps make sense of some of the political differences between the two countries.

    3. Guest Alumni says:

      This is a great post. I went to a mostly rich liberal college. The Democratic and Republican groups select one person to speak on behalf of the party every year. We had Ann Coulter. The Democratic group came to the speech are were completely disrespectful. She was answering questions from the audience, and a lot had to do with why she isn't "back in the kitchen" or why she's "a stupid Republican. However, the Republican group never trashed the Democratic group's speech.

      And the ROTC were spit on while in uniform.

      I completely agree- it's stupid and people need to just get over that people believe different. I went through the same thing. I'm a Republican in some economic aspects, but I believe in equality and women's rights.

      FYI, some GOP facebook groups in each state are asking people to take a survey on what the Republican party can do better. I voiced my opinion on equality and women's rights. Hopefully they will listen.

      It does go both ways, some Democrats feeling attacked. From my experience, it depends on what college you go to.

    4. Rina says:

      Molly isn't really supporting same-sex marriage and pro-choice by voting republican

      1. cassie says:

        preach rina

    5. Savannah says:

      Thank you so much for this post. I have been dealing with the same kind of ridicule on my campus even though I am in a typically red state. College campuses these days seem very anti-Republican for some reason and I wish people would take the time to check the facts of what each party stands beside and do their own research. They might find they are standing on the wrong side of the fence!

    6. Jj says:

      I'm sorry you feel poorly about being called out on your endorsement of the political party that preaches, on the whole, a war mongering bigoted standpoint that seeks to disenfranchise anyone who isn't a white upper class straight male.

      1. cassie says:

        perfectly put

    7. Brittany says:

      I know exactly how you feel Molly but I feel like working with CC may have been the wrong decision for you if you feel like this.😛 I have watched this website post articles again and again mocking Republicans and making them feel like lesser people for their beliefs. I understand that every one has a right to their POV and if I don't like the content of a site, I can choose to not read. But why would a website geared at college students want to make some of their readers feel alienated and belittled? I'm really happy to see this article up and I'm hoping CC continues to take the higher road of balancing their coverage of political parties. Only time will tell if this will last but kudos to you and CC for taking a step towards being as fair as possible. I may choose to visit more often from now on.:)

      1. Alex- University of South Carolina says:

        Hey Brittany! I'm surprised to hear that you don't think we offer a balanced viewpoint at CollegeCandy. As the Editor-in-Chief of the site, as well as someone who holds more politically conservative opinions, I absolutely try to showcase voices from both sides of the spectrum.

        I was excited when Molly came to me with the idea for this post because I felt it gave an honest view of what it's like to be a republican/not a democrat in college. Glad you enjoyed this one, and I hope you see more you like here!

      2. Brittany says:

        I will give it to CC – you guys have definitely stepped it up in an attempt to be more fair but articles from the past have generally favored the left and made light of the right. (No rhyme intended!) Like I said though, I'm excited to see more mature, fairly balanced articles from this site so thank you for that.:)

    8. Kay says:

      If you are fiscally conservative, but agree with the liberal side of social issues, you probably are not actually a "republican," but instead what would be considered a "libertarian".

    9. Jamie says:

      Well, you don't sound like a Republican. You are much more moderate, and I think the mud-throwing is fairly equal. For instance, if I decided to move Texas, I'm sure most of the people there wouldn't welcome me with open arms. This all depends where you live. Our generation, the "Millenials" are neo-liberal, but it is just a trend. Things always bounce back .

      1. Molly Mahannah says:

        I agree, but I live in Nebraska, it’s not like we’re known for being liberal around here. I’ve just felt as of lately its “taboo” to be called a conservative in all places.

    10. Mel says:

      Here is my issue with this article – why call yourself a Republican? If you're fiscally conservative, but socially liberal, that's libertarian. If you self-identify as Republican, I assume that that is because you agree with the majority of the Republican platform which contains a lot of socially conservative positions. Whether that is true or not, that is the assumption that most people will make. I only identify as a Democrat because I agree with their platform, otherwise I would simply say that I am liberal.

      1. Molly Mahannah says:

        There are Republican aspects that I don’t identify with, but I would say that I do identify with a majority of their platform. But why can’t I chose to label myself what I would like?

      2. Molly - UNL says:

        I feel like I am a Republican, and while I'm more of a middle of the road conservative, I still feel like I am a Republican. But aren't I allowed to identify whichever why I'd like? Isn't up to me?

      3. Luisa says:

        It's not like gender identity where the designation is fully up to the individual's personal wishes and feelings. Words like republican have definitions for a reason.

    11. cassie says:

      if you are voting Republican, you are voting for the suppression of minorities (women, the LGBT community, and racial minorities included), more power in the hands of the rich, meaning the elimination of the middle class, and super contradictory beliefs about "big" governments, to say the least. So as unfriendly as this sounds, I think you should feel weird voting for those ideals. I do believe Republicans can be decent people, but I do not think Republican ideals are fair or in support of social justice.And too many Republicans are listening too closely to the talking heads and not thinking through how their policies harm so so many.

      Also, side note, as republicans have and still make liberals of all shapes and sizes feel ostracized and ashamed of their beliefs for decades, I find this article super irritating.

      1. laura says:

        seriously? this is EXACTLY what she's talking about. She's stating her opinion on why she feels a certain why. She obviously agrees with some of the things Republicans believe. But clearly she can't express those opinions with people like YOU around. People are allowed to have other opinions and people are allowed to disagree with yours. Are you going to hate someone for who they voted for and their beliefs?
        That's really funny, your last point… Because when Bush was in office, liberals would CONSTANTLY ridicule Republicans about how they are so dumb for letting Bush in with a second term and how terrible of a president he is. Now that many Republicans are doing that for Obama, all of these Democrats are getting so butt-hurt over it and saying how "unfair" it is. Newsflash: you guys did the same thing with the last president.

      2. cassie says:

        Laura, what is it the author of this article saying she agrees with? By using her vague and fluffy language about how uncertain of universal healthcare she is, she is skirting around the fact that she does not believe all US citizens have the right to good health. She supports a system in which healthcare is a business, not an human right. That is not ok.
        She says she supports small governments, as the Republicans do. Well that is until we are talking about a woman's right to choose, or who a person wants to marry, or if a sick person chooses to use certain medications to feel better. Then the government should be all up in your business. But government that wants to help the poor or the uninsured, they are an invasive force that must be stopped! That is so hypocritical.
        Finally, she states that “republican” ideals are what is better for our country. So religious superiority, lack of social mobility, privileges for old white men… what am i missing here? What "republican" ideals would be better? Democrats are the ones pushing for equality, equity, social justice, and the like. I do not want to have an ideological debate with you. But I just think it is something every young FEMALE educated voter should considered when they vote republican. What are you doing?

      3. Molly Mahannah says:

        I said “I think” and also “I could be wrong”. I’m not saying it definitively. My beliefs are not what this article is meant to be about, it’s the fact that being a “republican” is the being the butt of a joke. I have democratic friends who don’t mock me or belittle me, and they would agree with this article as well.

      4. laura says:

        so basically this author should get her facts and opinions straight, is what you're saying? Haha

      5. cassie says:

        haha yes! i don;t hate anyone. this author's article does not invoke hatred, just confusion.

    12. Angelina says:

      Some of the comments on here are a bit startling. I don't agree with republican values either, but there isn't any need to throw vicious hate at her because of it! This goes the same for both parties. The issue in her article isn't 'Republicans are better', but 'don't hate based on political party'. Both parties have pros and cons, and arguing about it will get us nowhere fast. It'd be like arguing over which color is prettier or which food tastes better – it's all down to personal preference and taste and there is rarely anything, if at all, that can change that.

      Hating someone for being rude, disrespectful, obnoxious, and in-your-face about their politcal views is one thing (and can apply to people of both parties, I might add). Hating someone just because of their political views is another.

      1. cassie says:

        I haven't read through all the comments super thoroughly, but most of the ones I have seen do not mention hate at all. no one said, hey Molly I hate you because you are Republican. I think a lot of the comments in this thread invoke a lot of passion because politics are very powerful and influential in most everyone's life. Also, it is important for both Molly and persons like you to realize, that although this article did not ask for an ideological dialogue, it is tied to her questions about why so many young people are struggling with her republican ideals. Being republican means you believe in certain values and policies, so obviously, that is why people struggle with your identification as a republican; not because Republican is an ugly word in of itself, because of the ideologies it represents. (duh)

        In addition, I think arguing is the wrong way to frame it – but rather having a discussion about why you vote for what you vote for is important, because it doesn't just effect an individual, but sometimes, an entire freaking country. Choosing to support candidates that promote equality over ones that do not is NOT the same as I like pink more than purple. What if we never had a conversation about women's rights or the civil rights movement? It is necessary to have these conversations so that we can have progress as a society. (I'd also like to point out it was the predominately Republicans against both of those movements)

      2. Angelina says:

        Ah. I understand what you mean, and I agree. Maybe I phrased it wrongly? Hate is too strong of a word, I suppose. I strongly disagree with most Republican ideals, and I agree with you especially about equality. Of course you're right, those sort of things definitely need to be discussed, and supporting the Republican cause does nothing for equality for anyone.

        I think both Molly and I were just trying to say that it's possible to, like you stated, discuss political topics and have political differences without being condescending, rude, or disrespectful – which is what tends to happen from both sides. I've been verbally whaled on by Republicans calling me a socialist amongst other things, but I've also seen Democrats/liberals behaving in an equally embarrassing manner.

    13. Lauren says:

      I find this article kind of funny. I'm a University of Alabama student and I'm a Democrat. Down here in the South Democrats get treated like this. Most of the time I won't even admit to being a Democrat because we get so much crap for it. Being a "liberal" is a very dirty word in the South and our campus exemplifies this the conservative very devout religious stereotype.

      1. Molly - UNL says:

        Then you feel my pain! In any event, people should never be afraid to admit to something they believe in. It's America! We should be celebrating our differences.

    14. Ezekial says:

      You are claiming to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal, hence you are not a full fledged republican but indeed a moderate. Hence your covenant is void due to your inherently false representation of your so called ideology

      1. Molly - UNL says:

        But I should be able to identify however I want. If I want to call myself a Republican, then I am.

    15. Angelina says:

      Oh yeah and 'ACTUALLY' is spelled wrong in the title, by the way.

      1. Alexandra Gehringer says:

        Fixed! Thanks, Angelina!

    16. omally says:

      I'm glad someone else feels the same way Molly! As a Republican college student like yourself, I'm often afraid to say that I'm a Republican because people automatically assume I'm a bigot, racist, gun-toting redneck, and opposed to gay marriage and equal rights. This couldn't be less true! While I don't quite accept everything about the Republican party platform, I do accept more than the Democrat platform. I'm not a supporter or the Universal Health Care plan, because while it would grant health care to everyone, the number of medical professionals is not large enough and the quality of the health care would decrease. I'm not bigoted or racist in any way. I believe everyone has a chance in life and they can do whatever they want. No one race is more criminally prone or intelligent or hard-working than any other. As for gay marriage and equal right? My cousin is gay and getting married this year. I couldn't be happier for him! I couldn't care less if you're a Liberal, Democrat, Republican, Conservative, or whatever you want to be. As long as you respect my beliefs, I will respect yours and not condemn you for them. Who knows? Maybe we can have a good debate!:)

      1. Molly Mahannah says:


    17. Sam says:

      THANK YOU. Not only am I a Republican but I live in CANADA where no such thing exists and everyone absolutely LOVES the socialized healthcare (which, by the way, IS THE WORST THING IN THE WORLD AND DOES NO GOOD.)
      I am so grateful to feel no longer like a lone wolf.

      1. damola says:

        YA I just love republicans they actually care!

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