I’m Republican, but I am not…

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I’m Republican, but I am not…

Naseeba Saeed, Staff Writer

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We’ve all heard it a billion times, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, but I’m just as guilty as everyone around me of judging someone based on their political party. Many of my closest friends, who are kind, intelligent people are from the Republican party, yet even I catch myself making assumptions. People often stereotype all Republicans into one category which doesn’t show the true representation of their political beliefs. It was even difficult for me to find a willing participant to interview because many Republicans are tired of being attacked and misrepresented. We as a society should be ashamed that many people feel judged for their beliefs because how can we ever reach a solution if people are constantly attacking each other? We cannot come together unless we focus on our common interests. For this precise reason, my friend, Marie, and I, decided to interview three people from the opposite political party to break these stereotypes and encourage acceptance.

I wanted these interviews to be quiet informal to get to the core of who these people are and why they hold their political beliefs. I didn’t want this to turn into a debate session, but rather learn more about what makes people who they are. I think an important lesson to be learned is to accept people them for who they are, rather than judging them for not being like yourself.

I interviewed sophomore, Mike Csencsits, who completely shocked me with how incredibly open-minded and accepting he is of others. As president of the political society, he encourages people to speak up about their beliefs and welcomes friendly debate. He even got to see the Inauguration in person and shared the life changing experience during our interview. Mike doesn’t really like labels too much, but he considers himself a Rand Paul Republican. Despite many people assuming that all Republicans are socially conservative, he is actually socially very liberal. Although President Trump was not his first choice for the 2016 election, he voted for him based on governmental issues. Ever since he was in 10th grade, he has been very inquisitive about politics and made his decision based on policy. He is a strong defender of the 2nd Amendment, small government, and lower taxes.

After asking Mike more about how he felt about President Trump, he made it very clear that he did not agree with everything President Trump has said, especially when it comes to his derogatory comments towards women. In fact, he would like to see a female president one day. Mike is nothing like what many Republicans are stereotyped as, he is nowhere near racist, sexist, or homophobic. Despite the many unfortunate stereotypes given to Republicans, he doesn’t hate women or minorities. When he votes for a candidate, he votes for everyone, including those Americans who are gay and transgender. He is part of the young Republican generation who are closer to libertarians than anything else.

When Marie and I came up with this idea, we thought it would be very easy to find people who would open up about what has made them who they are today, but it was surprisingly very difficult. It almost turned into a challenge trying to find willing Republicans to interview on campus, I knew they were out there, I just didn’t know where. I decided to interview someone who is exceptionally vocal in general because I figured it would benefit to ask someone who is outspoken about everything.

Cory James Maletsky is a Republican who served in the United States military. In this very candid interview, Cory had no problem saying he voted for President Trump because he wasn’t the typical politician and he particularly liked that President Trump doesn’t care about what people say. Cory appreciates that he’s relatable and supports the troops. One the biggest reasons he’s Republican is because he believes that Republicans support the troops better, defend the second amendment, and get things done. For example, when he was in the military, they would get pay raise whenever a Republican was president, he said.

He shared the way September 11th impacted him and his political views. He liked the way former President George W. Bush handled everything and took care of the troops. Throughout this interview, Cory was brutally honest with me and explained how he was taught to think for himself very early on in life, something he thinks not enough people do. Through his hard exterior, you can tell he’s actually a really kind person that simply wants the best for this country. Not once did I notice an ounce of hatred in any of his views. As a matter of fact, he was unbelievably kind. I don’t know him well at all, but it is easy to tell when a person has a good heart and kind soul. He may come off as a shockingly frank at first, but he likes to joke around most of the time and doesn’t take himself too seriously. It’s important to get to know someone first before you judge them for being someone they are not. The best parts about people aren’t always on display, you have to put effort into giving someone a fair chance. After all, isn’t that what this country stands for?

Lastly, I was able to interview Senator Patrick Toomey’s nephew, Steve Toomey. He was another socially liberal, but fiscally conservative Republican who really valued personal freedom. He also voted for President Trump, despite not being a big fan of him at first. He explained that the Republican party is moving towards being more socially liberal and this platform shift would be a great service to the American people. Steve is Republican, but he doesn’t hate gay people or want to destroy nature. I noticed from each interview that everyone was socially liberal, which is something I think both parties could agree on and support. Steve really believed in what we were doing by interviewing the opposite party and really liked the message of being more open-minded and understanding. I could tell that he really valued the importance of freedom and being able to give that to everyone. He didn’t just blindly follow what his family taught him, he thinks for himself. In fact, he is majoring in Political Science and is really knowledgeable about his beliefs. Next time we judge someone for having a different view, we should consider the things we have in common. No two people are the same and that is the beauty of America. Republican or democrat, we are all human first.