The liberal and conservative media tend to ignore the moderate Republican voter. We are not disaffected rust-belt white men, Wall Street tycoons, the alt-right, evangelicals, racist / misogynist / homophobic / xenophobic “deplorables” as defined by Hillary Clinton. Most of us were not and are not ideological supporters of president - elect Trump.
Many moderate conservative voters are just like me - a college educated woman who was raised to believe that every human being should be treated with kindness and respect regardless of race, gender, national origin, sexual preference, religion, socio-economic level, political ideology, disability, education, marital status, type of employment, carmaker & model, mode of dress, physical looks, size, or “side of town”. The concept of discrimination, hate, prejudice, judgment, or rudeness was not on the radar of a girl growing up in a small town in north central Indiana in the 1960’s and 1970’s, the child of Hoosier born elementary school teachers - one Catholic and one Protestant, the son of a farmer and daughter of a plumber, the first of their families to attend college, both born at the beginning of the Great Depression and graduating high school at the end of WWII.
My parents raised me to believe that hard work, playing by the rules, focus on studies, and an understanding that no job was beneath me could give me the tools to live a good life. My parents struggled to give us opportunity and a college education. I worked in a hospital kitchen, as a waitress at a diner, at a radio station, and making pizza. These jobs helped me save money to travel to Europe, pay for extras at college, and understand that this was not what I wanted to do for a career.
At university I studied languages, English, history and political science. I learned that the Swedish social welfare state was not the type of society that appealed to me. Political science and history studies reinforced my belief in the beauty of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
I’ve lived in Asia and Europe and saw that the American way of life and republican form of government is the envy of the world. From Hong Kong to Indonesia, to Vietnam to Malaysia to Italy and Britain I saw that we Americans have the highest standard of living, the fairest elections, the greatest freedoms, the most advanced technology, and the best opportunities to reach for the stars and attain the goal.
My fellow moderate Republicans support a woman’s right to choose, stem cell research, racial equality, gender equality, the right of the LBGT community to marry, and open arms for legal immigrants. Every person deserves an equal chance for a job at equitable salary, the right to cast a vote, the freedom to live in any community, fairness in loan applications, and the right to equal opportunity.
I was taught not to judge another unless I’ve walked a mile in his or her shoes. We tend to forget, however, that American society believes in a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” ideal. Work hard and earn your way. I do not believe that people should be given something just for existing.
During my adulthood I have voted for third party candidates, Republicans and Democrats. This last election, however, caused me pain. Despite the fact that I would relish having a woman as president, Hillary Clinton could not be that person and represent what I believe in. I could not vote for her merely because of her sex. I do not believe in dynasties in America and could not send the woman of Whitewater, the Rose Law Firm, and dishonest rhetoric to the White House. I knew a lot of diplomats during the Clinton White House and heard too many disturbing stories to return that corrupt lot to power.
Trump is not one I would have chosen to represent the American people. But it was time for change. The vitriol spewed by the liberals is nothing more than a new form of discrimination against people for exercising their rights. It is like George Orwell’s thought police. Believe as I do or you are an enemy. This is not American. In fact this seems more Soviet or totalitarian- the idea that it is okay to censor thought, opinion, speech that one disagrees with.
Many of my friends, coworkers, associates, family members, neighbors, and others that believe in the Constitution, states’ rights, the rule of law, that all should earn their way, and that we should keep the wages we earn by hard work are the typical Republican voter.