Darwin Bryen, Grade 9, Staff Writer
One of the biggest sources of tension in America these days is liberal versus conservative, red versus blue. So naturally, being a Republican in the Democratic bubble that is the High School of American Studies is a unique experience.
People treat me like an anomaly because I am a Republican. They simply haven’t been exposed to those with opposing views. It isn’t malicious, but people look at me differently because I have views that contradict the norm.
Being a Republican in a Democratic bubble is both a disadvantage and an advantage. While I often feel like an outsider, people are willing to listen to my thoughts in political discussions and appreciate my input. One freshman commented, “Darwin represents most Americans outside New York.”
From my experience, I’ve learned that it doesn't really matter which side of the political spectrum you’re from; that doesn’t change who you are internally. Good people can be Republican or Democratic, and the party system should not affect feelings about your peers.
If we allow party differences to divide us, it would be a victory for the worst people in society, and a dramatic weakening of America and freedom across the world. Unity is even more important now in face of a divided political climate. In fact, I would argue for better treatment for those holding minority viewpoints, regardless of whether those views are more progressive or more conservative.
Compared to the treatment received by other conservatives on liberal campuses, I am fortunate in that I am treated fairly. Our society needs to be more accepting of other ideas and other people, like this school and its members have been to me. Being open to new ideas applies to both sides of the political spectrum. The more diversity in ideas and thought, the better it is for everyone. After all, listening to and learning from others is the best way to gain a truly nuanced understanding of the world we live in and how to make it better.