Political loyalty: Voting because of your family

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Believing in a certain political party because your parents support it is not wrong, but that should not be the sole reason for rallying behind the Democrats or Republicans.  It may be hard to see the logic behind this argument if you believe your parents are the alpha and omega of the world, but, for one moment, be a little rebel and hear me out.

Imagine that someone asks you, “Why do you like or dislike the Republicans?” If you start your answer with “My mom said,” then here’s another question: do you still enjoy being breast-fed by said mother?

It’s ridiculous to carry that political dogma to college and expect people to respect your political opinion. If you have a coherent argument as to why you chose to identify with a certain party, no one can tell you that those views are wrong. If you think that Kim Jong-un is the best thing that ever happened to the world and can make a plausible argument for that position, then maybe I will start to see things your way and head over to North Korea to be arrested.

But if you tell someone that your dad likes him, so you like him, I’ll be forced to think that you still let your dad pick out your clothes in the mornings. When you decide to inherit your parents’ political views, as a young adult, that sets the tone for how rational your political decisions will be. Don’t be that person who votes out of political loyalty, rather than actual political policy. Voting out of loyalty undermines democracy and leads to herd mentality.

You may have not even given much thought as to why you support a particular party and get swept up in your parents beliefs and take them as law. But being a staunch Democrat or Republican because of your parents’ views makes you less democratic. Democracy is about relaying your views and opinions, not inadvertently tagging along because your family supports that party.

While parents usually have sound advice, they can be on different political wavelengths than you. Back in the day, when your folks were young adults, and the thought of having a child was at the back of their minds, they supported their parties because they felt that it addressed their social and political climates at the time. Your dad probably loves Democrats because they supported equality in a time when people were vehemently discriminated against because of race or gender, and he felt that their policies supported a change in that system. Not to say that these social issues are relics of the past, but maybe you want to vote for a Republican because you like Ted Cruz’s stance on foreign policy, but you’re hesitant because your dad is fixated on being a Democrat.

I know that parents are one of the first agents of your socialization, so it is hard to disassociate from what they have already instilled in you. But, if you’re in college and are even semi-aware that you have a brain of your own, then you should be able to shape your own political discourse.

Support politics that represent you and what you think is important. Your parents’ political opinions shouldn’t be a deciding factor; I know it sounds corny and lame, but you really are in control of your own life.

As a young adult, you are probably constantly told that, as you grow, you will find your individual voice and, ultimately, your “self.” Coincidently, that voice is a voice that will be independent of your parents’.

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