Independents, GOPs need love

by Beacon Staff • September 24, 2008

p>,It takes a lot of guts to not be a Democrat in Boston.

Some will remember Sen. Joseph Lieberman as Al Gore's running mate in the 2000 presidential election, before Gore became Captain Planet. Despite once being a Democratic ticket-maker, Lieberman spoke up in favor of Sen. John McCain at this year's Republican National Convention.

"Senator Barack Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man who can do great things for our country in the years ahead," Lieberman said. "But my friends, eloquence is no substitute for a record mdash; not in these tough times for America."

Lieberman's decision to speak at the RNC angered many Democrats. Two members of the Democratic Party tried to pass a decision to force Lieberman out of the Democratic Party, according to the Hartford Courant's Web site. Filmmaker Robert Greenwald even started "Lieberman Must Go," an online petition to the Senate Democratic Steering Committee to remove Lieberman from his position in Congress.

Similarly, the non-Democrats here at Emerson receive denunciation. Coming out as a Republican at Emerson is like Dick Cheney's daughter coming out as a lesbian. It's strange that we go to a school that endorses gender neutral bathrooms, but by saying one negative comment about Barack Obama, it's like you're on McCarthy's blacklist.

As someone who considers herself a "fiscal Republican," it's difficult to have a civil conversation about the election because what most hear is just the word "Republican." I don't care what people do in their bedrooms, I care about what the government does with my money.nbsp; The Democratic party as a whole tends to be more lenient in spending money that I don't think is necessary.

However, being a Republican does not make one "narrow-minded."

"Sometimes when I say that I'm a Republican, I receive dirty looks," said sophomore Rachel Campbell in an interview. "People automatically believe that I'm anti-choice and a homophobe.nbsp; While I am morally opposed to abortion, it is out of the government's jurisdiction."

Although she is a proud about her party affiliation, Campbell squirms anytime politics comes up, which is difficult to avoid as a political communications major.nbsp; "I took it [an elephant Republican pin] off [my bag] after my journalism class. I got really intimidated by the other students," she said. "A lot of Emerson students are outspoken, which is great, but they're not quite as open to new ideas."

Whenever I debate politics, I feel that rather than openly discussing my opinions, I'm being shoved into the spotlight and scrutinized for everything I say. No matter how hard I try to defend my position, it seems to get continually shut down by what feels like the entire Emerson population.

Most of the Democrats here at Emerson College seem to attach themselves to the Democratic Party because everyone else does. A lot of Democrats I have encountered have very little knowledge about Obama's policies or the party platform as a whole. Many Republicans at Emerson are just as socially conscious as the Democrats but worry about one element that many Democrats appear to forget: money.

"Whoever becomes president is going to affect me because I'm going to have to start paying taxes during his term," said Abigail Vega, a sophomore musical theatre major who declares herself as economically conservative. "I think most students are not Republicans because they don't know much about the fiscal platforms of the parties."

There are plenty of Emerson Democrats who are unsure of their party's monetary stand.

Rachel Cervarich, a sophomore theatre studies major and declared Democrat, stated that while she felt she was informed about Obama's financial strategy, she didn't know the logistics.br /"I don't really know specifics.nbsp; I guess I would probably be better off if I learned more," Cervarich said in an interview.

So Emerson Democrats, please get off your high donkeys and start judging others not by their party, but their actual stance. Emerson Republicans are no better or worse than you are.

br style="font-style: italic;"Zaneta Jung is a sophomore print journalism major and a contributor to The Beaco.