Cameron Weimer / Lantern photographer
Most of us, traditionally, fall in line with our parents’ beliefs. They taught us much of what we know and their guidance has helped shape who we are today. I have spent most of my 21 years trying to figure out what it is I believe. After much deliberation, I’m still not completely sure what that is. I can attribute this to my parents.
Since I could barely walk, both my parents were never shy to express what they thought. My mother identifies as a moderate Republican and my father is a staunch Democrat. To my knowledge, each has voted a straight ticket in every election they have voted in while I’ve been alive.
But I really believe this has helped me in the long run. My entire life, I’ve remained neutral and I’ve been open to hear what my mom and dad have had to say. Sometimes, it was nice because it felt like I had a front-row seat to a political debate. Other times, it was frustrating because both sides were such polar opposites.
This is a perfect example of both political parties now. Each side claiming they are unequivocally right and unwilling to compromise. Both parties speak about “change” and make promises that sound great for the American people, only to get lost in the mix once the president takes office.
Like most Ohio State students, I was unable to vote in the 2008 presidential election. Looking forward to 2012, my thought process has completely changed. I was very conservative at 17, probably the poster child for Fox News.
But that was until I moved away from my small town in Ohio. When I came to Columbus, it was the first time I was able to truly think for myself. After four years of life on my own, I would identify myself as moderately left on most issues.
Still, I can assure you that neither side possesses all the answers. That is why it is absolutely paramount that you question whichever side you affiliate yourself with. Be it Democrat or Republican, we must realize that these parties are meant to divide us when really we should be working together to better our nation.
When you go to the polls this fall, don’t just vote for the candidate that your parents would want you to choose. Be a conscious media consumer and formulate your own opinion based on a thorough analysis of each platform. Don’t be afraid to question what it is you stand for. And above all else, understand that compromise is key for success at all levels of humanity.