2017 Political Climate: How Far Will the Bipartisan Line Divide?

As Donald Trump’s presidency continues to leave me in disbelief, I am really questioning the bipartisan system. I’ve never been a fan, but something my dad said over dinner really intrigued me. He is a die-hard Lincoln Republican (we’re from Central Illinois — everything is Lincoln-centric) but did not vote for Trump and cannot stand him. He said, though, that it all comes down to Republicans wanting the government uninvolved and Democrats wanting government influence. Does it?

Then in theSkimm this week, it simplified the transgender bathroom to “It’s a showdown between states’ rights and civil rights — a textbook GOP vs. Dems fight.” Is that really the only issue?

It makes sense that liberals typically want social rights to be valued nationwide. Reasonable. Conservatives typically don’t want the government telling them what to do. Also reasonable. There has to be an overlap where social issues can be encouraged by the government without stepping on anyone’s toes. I think the line needs to be drawn as to who is open to change.

The conservatives we hear that are against common social issues (transgender bathroom use, LGBTQ rights, the Black Lives Matter Movement, Planned Parenthood funding, gun rights), are their rights actually being infringed upon? Or is it their level of comfort in addressing the outside world?

I hear many people from my hometown complain about protests saying how they block traffic and people who are “actually working,” yet none of them have actually witnessed a protest. I don’t think many realize the influence of public transportation and planning around these events. When I have had to work during protests, my bosses always notify me that traffic may be difficult during this time. They also provide similar warnings for other large events, like the Chicago Marathon or the Cubs World Series Championship Parade. Until protests become aggressive and/or violent, they are not causing cities as much trouble as people from small towns think.

I have similar thoughts regarding all of these social issues that conservative Republicans are still battling. Are they afraid of government interference or their social norms being challenged?

My dad is 78 and pretty political incorrect, but his moral compass still seems to be relatively calibrated, so I know that not all Republicans are super conservative and against social rights. My only concern is to what extent Republicans will limit others’ rights to defend their own political stances.

Do you think social norms will change as our generation ages, or do you think they’re still ingrained in many? Let me know your thoughts!

++ Mary K

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