By: Staff Writer Danielle Adler
I’d like to say I don’t fit the media-propagated “poster child” Republican: a notoriously traditional, close-minded conservative. Rather, I am the seemingly rare moderate conservative. I agree with the ideas of limited government to best protect society’s needs at large and certain policy stances of the GOP, but in moderation. At the same time, though, I have a strong respect for my party members who do hold devout policy stances and strong ties to traditional lifestyles. While I do not necessarily align myself with having extreme views on either ideological spectrum, I do not delegitimize those of the far right or far left. I know what I personally want to see in Washington and certain policies that I like but for many moderates, this line of certainty is becoming more and more ambiguous. As both parties become more polarized, us moderates are coping with how to adapt to our growing isolationist state as moderates in this election cycle.
I am currently home on spring break and as most college students, I should be watching hours of Netflix or getting tan on the beach. But no, I instead decide to attend a Bernie Sanders rally in Charlotte. Why in the world would I do that? Good question. I self-identify as a moderate conservative and hold those values true. However, that does not mean that I should remain close-minded and ignore those with opposing views. While I do not agree with much of Senator Sanders’ platform, I respect him as a politician. He speaks his mind and has kept a campaign afloat months longer than most had predicted. He stands firm in his beliefs and loudly voices his stances, which at times seems like taboo in Washington.
I was inclined to see Senator Sanders because I have respect and admiration for a politician who remains unchanged in his beliefs, but I also because I felt some sort of duty to go. This past week, Trump’s rally was cancelled due to dangerous protests from the left. Chicago became engulfed in fights and protests in wake of Trump’s appearance in the windy city. Yes, we have the first amendment right to assemble and speak our minds but to some degree there should be an unspoken notion of common sense. I do not agree with the majority of Senator Sanders’ beliefs but you don’t see me or other conservatives throwing violent protests against his events. Time and time again throughout the primaries we have seen coverage of disruptive and vulgar rallies spearheaded by strong liberals against conservative presidential nominees. And my attendance for the Bernie rally made me question why the opposite is not seen. The answer, I definitely do not have. But it poses a thought: Is throwing violent protests against a presidential candidate really going to convince moderates that you’re correct and the others are wrong? Is this the right way to sway unsure voters? As I said previously, this election season is a troublesome year for moderate Americans and screaming on both ends will not veer them in either direction.
To end and for the sake of truth for the article, I did intend on planning the Bernie Sanders rally in Charlotte on March 14. As my friend and I were on our way to the rally, we had to pull over due to a flat tire and by the time it was fixed, the rally had already started. Is this my karma for me trying to listen to the other side, since no one in politics seems to do so?