Letter to the Editor: Bigotry doesn’t win votes
As a young female who has always identified more with Republicans than Democrats and once proudly announced my conservatism, anxiously waiting for the day I could vote, I must say, I almost don’t care that the 2012 election will be my first presidential election anymore. Why? This is happening because young conservatives like myself are being left behind in our increasingly polarized two-party system. As noted in your recent article,”Repeal makes ‘ask, tell ’ policy for now.” Rick Santorum stated that he was not in favor of the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and if he was elected President, he wanted to see the policy re-instated. I’m not politically ignorant; I understand that the theory behind conservatism is at best, policies that encourage gradual change and at worst, policies that encourage reverting to “traditional values.”
Unfortunately for the Republican Party, new voters that were raised in conservative households have been raised in a generation of high innovation and they embrace change, which is probably why Obama captured so much of the young-adult vote in the 2008 election. They really believed that Obama would bring some sort of change to the government, even if they didn’t necessarily believe in his entire platform. It’s been three years now, and little has changed in Washington. Many commentators believe this will lead to the same thing it led to at the midterm elections in Congress – a flip in power, with the Republicans re-gaining the office of president. The Republican Party has the chance of a lifetime – to innovate and change its appeal to voters. This doesn’t require throwing out core beliefs; it simply requires embracing changing times. We live in a society where men and women are increasingly able to be open about who they are, including whom they love. This isn’t a special privilege – it’s a right. Not being able to bring one’s spouse around coworkers or discuss one’s life at work like any other employee out of fear of losing one’s job is unacceptable.
If Republican candidates continue in their bigoted speech, focusing on moral and social issues instead of the ones that really will upset the American way of life – our ridiculously enormous deficit, rampant unemployment and various foreign policy issues – the party is doomed. Young Republican voters won’t endorse this speech, so they’ll either vote for the other party, or as many already have, become jaded with politics and not vote at all. Rick Santorum may think the repeal “injects social policy into the military,” preventing them from getting their job done. Personally, I think his remarks are injecting social policy into the affairs of government, preventing them from getting their job done: protecting our constitutional rights and freedoms and putting Americans back to work. Bigotry doesn’t win votes, it doesn’t create jobs, and it doesn’t reduce the deficit. I won’t be voting for President Obama in November, but I also don’t plan on voting for any Republican candidate. I’d rather waste my vote on a third party candidate than endorse bigotry any day.
Kirsten Elliott, sophomore undeclared major