Respect: It Applies to Politics Too

Senior Ivana Kosir on senior year.

Senior Ivana Kosir on senior year.

By Ivana Kosir

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There I was, just casually scrolling down my Twitter feed, when I came across the following tweet: “Democrat stereotypes don’t apply half the time while republican stereotypes always apply.”

What?

So every Republican is an old, rich, white guy? I agree with the first part of the statement, but I don’t think stereotypes apply half the time for any group, not just Democrats.

These types of remarks are a part of the reason why Niles West seems so democratic.  It is not that there are no Republicans in our school, but rather, they feel uncomfortable sharing their opinions.

Just skim through some of the political news stories the NWN has published. Most of the quotes come from students and staff supporting President Obama and the Democratic Party. The news is not biased; it is difficult to find a Republican willing to publicly comment.

So why is this? We live in a society where we have the freedom of speech and the right to believe in what we want, but is this necessarily the case at Niles West? How many times have we heard in the halls, “F*** Romney” or other derogatory phrases to put down the Republican Party? Just yesterday, I ran across an ecard that read, “Obama rhymes with ohana. Ohana means family and family means nobody gets left behind. Mitt rhymes with sh** and sh** is sh**.”

When phrases and ideas like this spread across the school, people’s ideas get shut down along with their confidence and willingness to openly express their opinions. It can be classified as a form of bullying, and it is unnecessary.

I thought it may have been a maturity issue, but apparently it happens within the faculty and staff as well.

“It isn’t easy being a republican among the teachers either… 🙂 ,” Mr. Nortillo commented previously on the NWN.

What puzzles me is that the Democratic Party stands for equality all across the board. They fight for respect toward minorites, yet many Democrats can’t display proper respect toward Republicans for their beliefs. It makes no sense.

Now I’m not saying that Republicans don’t say disrespectful things to Democrats, because some do, but here at Niles West, Republicans get the grunt of it.I understand that much of it comes from ignorant bandwagon fans, supporting Obama because everyone else is, but it is still not an excuse to belittle others.

As a high school that promotes acceptance and respect towards all races, cultures, religions, genders, sexual orientations, and political views, I propose that we step it up a notch. We can coexist, and just because you may not like Romney’s tax system or Obama’s health care plan doesn’t mean we can’t politely discuss the matters and after the fact, move on. When it comes down to it, it is just politics, and it is not as important as the relationships and influences you make during the years here. Agree to disagree, and stay classy.