I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to stop labeling my political identity for the pure fact that I’m a part of so many different ones.
You see, I was raised in a very conservative home. My entire family are die hard conservatives, and I’m exposed to so much “red” through their political dialogue. However, I go to a very “blue” campus, where the word “Republican,” or anything like it, is considered a dirty word. To be a Republican or any variation of it at my school is to be a member of a severe minority and to be ostracized and judged by pretty much anyone you walk into. I hear a lot of “blue” views at school.
I’m able to maintain conversations with people both at home and at school. With pretty much anyone I talk to, I can find some sort of common ground – even if that common ground is just that we both want to make the world a better place.
If you had asked me what I was in middle school, I would have said I was a Democrat. In high school, I embraced the world of Republicanism and I’ve ridden that train pretty much all of college, through the highs and the extreme lows that the GOP has been through.
Recently, I’ve found myself learning that I belong in no party because none of them accurately fit me. They all have ideals that make me uncomfortable with identifying as them.
I might be a moderate, yet I’ve found that even a moderate political identity doesn’t have my distaste for government and my distrust in elected officials. Libertarianism is definitely the closest ideals to me, but I cannot say that I identify close enough to it to fully identify. As always, there are too many theoretical ideas that run through my head that I just cannot answer.
The problem with labeling a political identity is you’re automatically slapped with the good AND bad stigma of that party. We cannot deny that all parties carry some incredibly controversial baggage with them. Some of that baggage can fundamentally dismantle some of the core arguments, but people stick with it for loyalty purposes. I can’t be loyal to a party if it’s wrong about something.
Journalism is about finding facts. More than anything, I have found that journalism has opened my political spectrum tremendously because I’m critically evaluating thoughts and facts in ways that I haven’t before. What kind of journalist would I be if I held everyone to a total fact driven basis, while disregarding many for myself in the name of loyalty to a group of people that probably couldn’t care less about me anyway?
To not label my political identity is not me being confused. It’s realizing that I am a complex individual with multiple ideas of how politics should be run. I think all parties have good and bad ideas. I think all reasonable views should be considered. Everyone reasonable should be represented. If some of my ideas contradict one another, I will sort that out as I continue to probe my mind further.
I’m done labeling my political identity because I won’t let a label – or a group of people – define how I question government any longer.