Stop shaming people with different political views


Brynn Blizzard, Opinion Editor

Whenever politics gets brought up in conversation, whether personally or professionally, I avoid the topic completely and desperately change the subject.

Living in Maryland as a moderate conservative has been extremely tough, because my identity is unknowingly criticized frequently. I am not trying to portray moderates or conservatives as victims because political criticism is not a crime against me or anyone; however, extremists need to be more respectful of those who have differing opinions.

I always have open ears when it comes to politics as I am a teenager whose mind is still expanding, but having angry extremists fight constantly makes me question the entire concept. The worst is when I start to say something that comes off as a “more conservative thought” and the person I am talking to starts to have an attitude instead of trying to persuade me otherwise. A little respect goes a long way, even if we disagree.

The dictionary definition of feminism is: the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes. I am a feminist but I am not a radical feminist. I consider myself to be an independent female; however, I do not feel the need to put down men for every problem I endure. And maybe I’m not being fair, because not all feminists blame men for their issues. I am talking to the extreme feminist that screamed at my dad about his “assumptions of the female gender” because he offered to help change her tire. He has spent the past 20+ years in the automotive industry… of course he is going to offer help to another human struggling to do a task he is skilled in. I am for equality and logic.

Maybe I don’t understand now and I will learn in the future, but understand that I have formed my opinions through experience and my opinions are going to change and evolve over time. You do not need, and frankly are in no position, to be screaming at me about my own beliefs. If you want to be effective, try persuading me with facts instead of shoving the same chants down my throat.

You can vocally disagree with me all you want (first amendment) but realize that I will probably lose respect for you if you are not open minded as well. I understand if adults with experience are set in stone with their political beliefs, but high school students need to realize they are naive and should want to hear multiple perspectives.

I’ve always been that person that can see both points of argument, liberal and conservative, and I want more people to do that as well. We, as Americans, need to sympathize with each other and see where people are coming from, and not just assume they’re “stupid” because they disagree with us.

I believe that if more people, liberal and conservative, would give this kind of respect, even the most politically dominated areas would feel more comfortable for everyone. The beauty of America is that we all have the ability to speak freely about our beliefs, values and opinions (first amendment). For the past year I have been silent about my opinions because I was scared of being judged. But I am a senior about to graduate and at this point, I don’t really care what my peers or my teachers think of me. I will not restrict my speech because some people may not like it. If I asked you to apologize to me because of your political views, how would you react to that? I would most likely get called a whiny, spoiled, Trump supporter, right? There is a terrible double standard in the United States and I am done living in shame.