By Spenser Hickey
As a proud liberal, a member of OWU’s College Democrats, and a former volunteer with President Obama’s re-election campaign, I am ashamed of the judgemental behavior referenced in last week’s editorial “I’m not stupid. I’m a Republican.”
I am writing to express my sympathies for the closeted Republican who wrote it – and anyone else here on campus in a similar situation – and to make it clear that such negative attitudes are not the position of all College Democrats or, I hope, those of the majority of Democrats on OWU’s campus.
No one should be dismissed as unintelligent or idiotic simply because of party affiliation, and I am discouraged to hear that some of my liberal peers on campus have acted so inappropriately.
I would argue that those, like the anonymous writer, who identify with a party – either one – but take the time to look at each issue and determine their own position, even if it’s against the party line, are the smartest and best of us all.
I admit I am not entirely blameless in this; I have dismissed those in the ‘Obama is a Kenyan/Muslim/communist’ camp as deluded and candidates such as Todd Akin as ignorant on basic science.
Perhaps I should not have done so.
Regardless of this, these groups are but a fringe of the GOP – though a frighteningly vocal one – and their views should not be applied to all Republicans.
Throughout the campaigning season, I saw Republican candidates pushing each other to go farther and farther into ultra conservative territory in order to appeal to the more fanatical members of their party.
As a Democrat, I watched this with some trepidation, fearing what would happen if they were elected and retained their views in office, but mostly I was pleased to know that their far right stances were handing us moderate votes on a platter.
As an American, though, it made me sad.
If the Republican Party continues to put more emphasis on appealing to the uber conservative, rather than the moderate American, they may jeopardize their position as an equal opponent to the Democratic Party.
The need to maintain that balance is far more important to me than the benefit an overwhelming majority it would give my party.
So bravo to you, sir or miss, for having the courage to retain your political affiliation while also having the integrity to determine your own view on issues today.
I am sorry you have been victimized for being a Republican.
I hope that those around you will recognize your views and the thought you have put into developing them, rather than disparaging you on account of your informed party allegiance.
I would be honored to hear from you and to discuss the issues as Americans, rather than opponents.
You are, in this humble Democrat’s opinion, an exemplary Republican and citizen.
You are not stupid.