Monday, January 19, 2015

Embracing Left and Right

Today we remembered Martin Luther King Junior. 

Many schools had classes off, and social media was full of inspirational quotes from the man himself. Our university still held the majority of classes, but my political science class was cancelled. Instead, we had to write a response to this question: did Martin Luther King Junior change America? How? After considering the few facts I do know and reading a Wiki-version autobiography, I came up with this answer:

I believe that MLK Junior was a necessary component to the change in America. It is irrational to think that one man could single handedly change an entire country, but he definitely helped the course of America concerning equality and rights. My opinion is that MLK Junior influenced all Americans and continues to be a force in the country because of his actions to pass equality and to fight for rights for African Americans, who at the time, were still being persecuted. America is known as the home of the free and the brave, and I believe that King is a testimony to that. After the Rosa Parks incident, King was the leader of the protests and speeches given in defense of equal rights. Without someone as brave and willing to take these steps towards liberation, who knows where America would stand today concerning the racial variation of it's citizens and their undeniable, God-given rights to equality. 

Now, I took history classes in high school and we uncovered the surface of political policy and governmental issues, but this semester is my first time taking an actual Political Science class. I've always had an attraction to politics, and after being involved in the North Dakota campaigns this past fall, I was able to rediscover that passion. 

It is often said that college students become progressively more liberal during their four years at university. I am blessed to attend a relatively conservative college, but of course it is not completely. I don't have any disdain for those who have a liberal mindset, nor do I ridicule or persecute them, but I feel like this is the stereotype, especially in this day and age. Perhaps this is one of the main reasons why my generation has removed itself almost entirely from educating itself on public policy and political issues. We are influenced by our environment, taught by our parents (if they choose to take the steps to educate us) and absorb what we see on social media and television. Being homeschooled as a child and attending a private Catholic school for the last two years of my high school career, I was lucky enough to mostly avoid liberal minded teachers. Again, I have nothing against them as people, I don't have a lack of respect and I do not believe that the Democratic party is stupid or immoral or unjust, I just hold a different set of values and believe in conservative policies. Now that I am in college however, I am more aware of the diversity that is present in the bigger picture, which is the world outside my home, my homeroom and my hometown. I am more aware of the contradicting opinions, morals and beliefs that people have. 

And it's fascinating. 

Only a week into classes, and I have already encountered a varied range of opinions just from the students in my class, let alone the rest of the school. Nobody is completely, 100% educated on any single issue, but most of us lean towards one direction over the other. With this variation of viewpoints, it is important to remember that while I may not always agree, it is required that I listen and am open to considering what others have to say. I tend to be a stubborn person when it comes to what I believe in, and maybe it comes off as snobbish, so welcoming what others have to say, especially those who disagree with what I say and think will be challenging but good for me. I think that it is good to remember that everyone has different backgrounds which have all played a part in shaping their political and religious views. While it can be frustrating at times (especially when I know I am right) it is also exciting and interesting, and I am looking forward to voicing my Republican values and engaging with those who both embrace and oppose them. 

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1 comment :

  1. I definitely struggle with listening instead of instantly judging - this is a good reminder of why we should listen to all viewpoints! Also, really looking forward to getting more involved with the upcoming 2016 campaign!!