Republicans must not forget standards

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Republicans should hold their own candidates to a higher standard than candidates from other parties. Photo by Paulina Martin.

Over lunch this week I was discussing the election. Upon mentioning that I sent in my vote by mail slip, my friend said something along the lines of, “So I assume you voted for Hillary?”

Once I was done cleaning up the Lucky Charms that had escaped my laughing mouth, I was able to seriously consider why someone would be able to come to that conclusion.

It’s not unfounded. I have certainly criticized Donald Trump more vocally than Hillary Clinton. It would not be a huge stretch to believe I bit the bullet and voted blue.

However, I would never do such a thing. I would only vote left over my dead body (which just might happen because the word around the water cooler is that the dead have risen and are voting Democrat). So why am I more critical of Trump than Clinton?

Well, firstly, I go to a very conservative school and live in a very conservative area. What constructive conversation would result if I started every political conversation by criticizing Clinton? What new ideas would be shared? A tirade against Clinton in my community would be the very definition of preaching to the choir and, therefore, a waste of time.

That being said, there is a more prevalent reason I am so vocal against Trump. Whenever I bring up Trump’s racism, his misogyny, or his failed foreign ideals to Trump’s supporters, the response I get most often is usually something like, “Why are you mad? Democrats race bait all the time! Bill Clinton assaulted women all the time! Democrats love Iran!”

Yes. Democrats do that. With all due respect to my liberal friends, Democrats race bait. Bill Clinton assaulted women. Democrats back the Iran deal.

But we are Republicans. Every second we stoop down to the Democrats’ level, let alone behave even worse than they do, is a tremendous failure on our behalf at America’s expense.

We are the party of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. The party of the Constitution, of tradition. We are the party that fought and suffered for the idea that all people, regardless of skin, gender or religion, deserve their civil rights. As such, I expect better from the Republican party.

So I don’t care if Hillary says something racist, stupid or hypocritical. She’s a Democrat, and I’ve come to expect such behavior from members of her party. It’s not something I condone, but it’s not new information.

But when a Republican is misogynistic, when a Republican is racist, when a Republican posits the type of conspiracy-mongering idiocy I’ve witnessed from the left for years, I will absolutely speak up against it.

We must rise above, not strive to be worse.

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