Letters to the Editor

Letter: Hypocrisy dominates political discourse

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


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

  • Class of 89

    Congratulations, Ms. Toomey, on recognizing the inherent failure of modern liberalism: tolerate only those who think liberally. I learned 20+ years ago at Brown that tolerance does not apply to thoughtful conservatives. Welcome to the small club of Ivy League Conservatives.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t believe that you did not vote with your lady parts. Who do you think you are? A sentient being ?

  • Mike C.

    Emily, you couldn’t be more right. Social media flame wars over politics have been all over my news feed. Regardless of party affiliations and differing opinions, we need to keep moving forward. We’re all Americans.

  • M. Ryan

    Bravo, Emily. You are an example of the best of Brown.

  • Anonymous

    So well said, Emily!

  • Anonymous

    The voice of an independent critical thinker, the kind of voice we hope all our daughters aspire to and that they will someday achieve. Now is the time to unite our country not continue to divide with intolerance. Congratulations Emily on thinking and acting for yourself, not basing your choices on what is popular and mainstream.

  • ANON

    Emily, the market agrees with you. Gold, Oil futures, and Smith & Wesson stock shot up as most everything else dropped.

  • Anonymous

    As a Democrat who loves to argue, so is mostly stuck arguing conservative viewpoints, thank you!

  • Anonymous

    It gives me great hope that a student in a sea of liberalism at Brown has the courage and lucidity to observe and announce the hypocrisy of the left who cannot tolerate a different viewpoint of the seemingly monolithic thought that exists there and at similar bastions of education.
    Thank you for the breath of fresh air that I sorely needed after this election.

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t it funny that a school that goes out of its way to supposedly recruit for diversity can’t tolerate a different opinion.

    Even Fox had a segment about the lack of diverse opinions at Brown. Brown has always been viewed as a freak school, now the students have proven the critics correct.