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 November 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.