Since the election we’ve heard a lot from those who oppose the Trump administration, but what of the population that voted for our 45th president? Do they still support his policies? Do they regret who they voted for? Upon interviewing several conservatives from Boston College it seems that many of them feel afraid to express their opinions. So, why is that?
According to a freshman at BC, “I feel nervous expressing my support for Trump because most times I try to discuss what I believe, the responses I receive are angry, and lack any attempt to understand why I voted for who I voted for, or why I believe what I believe.” Unfortunately, many other pro-Trump students held similar concerns, and as I continued the interview process, this article began to show less of what they believed and more of why and what they were afraid of. I couldn’t help but feel troubled by this overwhelming feeling of fear young conservatives seemed to experience.
A senior shared, “It’s funny. My political party won the election, and certain policies I’ve supported are being passed. However, the moment any political discussion is brought up I’m the first to leave the room or change the topic because, from experience, there’s rarely healthy conversation today when it comes to politics. I’m just looking for people to hear me out and not see me as a monster or heartless the moment they find out I voted Trump.”
From what I could grasp from the interviewees, they felt as though while society was ideally supposed to be somewhere where everyone was allowed to have different opinions, there were many that were unwilling to accept that others shared different views than their own. Note: this, of course, goes both ways, as all sides have members that can be incredibly vocal and lack understanding for the opposing parties.
It never crossed my mind that people could feel so afraid to express their individual ideas. However, I began to comprehend this feeling as I sat down to write this article and was constantly drawn back to thoughts of the possible backlash I could face for writing this. Afterall, I’m discussing politics (already a big no-no), and sharing the feelings of a group who happens to be a minority in Massachusetts.
My hope is that this article will receive support from those who read it, and that those who are currently too afraid to share their opinions will see that it’s okay to open up and speak about what they believe in without feeling fear. It’s important, especially in today’s society, to remember to be respectful towards everyone’s opinions even if they do not share yours. The beauty of living in the United States is that we hold rights that allow us to believe what we want and express what we’d like without fear of retaliation. Whether you support Trump or are completely against him and his policies, at the end of the day we are all human, and it is up to us to treat others and their opinions with the same levels of respect we hope to receive.