To the Editor:
I voted for Mitt Romney. Although this normally wouldn’t seem like such a significant statement for me, declaring it here feels more like a confession. To be honest, I wasn’t particularly thrilled with either candidate, but after some careful considering, I found I sided with some of Romney’s perspectives more than those of other candidates. Without getting into the details of my reasons – economic policies, interactions with Congress, handling of foreign affairs, etc. – the bottom line of the story is that I formed my opinion, acted on it and cast my ballot. Simple as that.
As a student at Brown, I love the fact that intellectual stimulation is everywhere, that people are confident in their thoughts and that there is a freedom of speech strongly protected in all areas of academic life. My problem is not with dissenting opinions, but rather the hypocritical attitude I see resulting from so many of them. You cannot advocate choice while telling me that mine is inherently wrong. You cannot call for freedom of religion while deeming a candidate unqualified because of the one they practice. You cannot tell me that you are against bigotry and marginalizing while simultaneously referring to all Republicans or conservatives as intellectually inferior. I respect the fact that fellow students disagree with my political opinion, but I do not respect the influx of Facebook statuses that tell me I am a racist, homophobe or religious freak because of the bubble I filled in on a piece of paper. We are a society that prides itself in democracy, a school that boasts about its diversity and a student body that thrives in a “be who you want to be” culture. Despite this, we have professors casually slander the Republican Party on a daily basis and students sardonically vowing to move to Canada if their party loses. Ultimately, in the midst of advocating for the America we want, we are forgetting the Americans we are.
We are Muslim, we are Catholic, we are Jewish, we are straight, we are gay, we are conservative, we are liberal. We are men, we are women, we are artists, we are writers, we are mathematicians, we are firefighters. We are not opponents, we are not a hierarchy of morality or intellectualism, and we are not a country that comprises a single correct opinion. I do not know how I will look back on my political opinions in the future. Perhaps I might recognize that my decision was wrong, or perhaps not. What I do know, however, is that the vote I made makes me no better or worse than anyone else. Simple as that.
Emily Toomey ’15