Republican Student At Women's March In DC
Caroline calls herself a “New Jersey Republican.”
In short, she's a socially liberal, fiscally conservative millennial. The scale teeters depending on the specific policies of the individual candidate. But this year, the social implications of a Trump presidency outweighed the potential for fiscal and foreign policy reward.
President Trump lacked any solid economic or foreign policy plan besides a catchy slogan. With him as our president, all I could count on was inciting white nationalism and emboldening male supremacy: something I certainly didn't want powering the Oval Office.
She unapologetically voted for Hillary Clinton in her home state of New Jersey.
Growing up in the blue state of New Jersey in proximity to a big city – a majority of the social issues so politically divisive today – were barely issues at all. In conjunction with a lack of firsthand exposure to many of the issues facing minority groups, equal pay for equal work, criminal justice reform, LGBTQ rights and women's rights were never really contentious issues growing up. I never saw basic human rights as a political issue.
I met up with Caroline a couple of hours after the Trump inauguration... which she was in attendance for.
"At Georgetown, you only get one opportunity to see an inauguration. I wasn't going to miss my chance," she said.
Nevertheless, the next morning at 8 am, Caroline joined like-minded students at the front gates of the university in order to head down to the Women's March.
I think a lot of people fall into the camp of socially liberal and fiscally conservative, and have a hard time labelling themselves. There is a such a stigma – especially following this election – against Republican that I think it deters people from ever considering looking further at individual Republicans' viewpoints.
Caroline blames the issue, in part, due to a lack of understanding by people on both sides of the aisle.
Living in a blue state, and competing on the fairly liberal national debate circuit, I was blessed with a refreshingly two-sided Facebook newsfeed. Even if your Facebook is fairly one-sided, I still think it's a great place to start getting news. I just think it's important to look at a few articles, or even headlines, to get a more well-rounded picture.
Caroline is also a member of the Georgetown University College Republicans, an editor at the Conservative-leaning school newspaper and an accomplished national-level debater.
As a fellow millennial, I couldn't help but agree with Caroline.
As a media consumer, I live in an echo chamber. I tend to avoid news sources I don't agree with, and I surround myself with people who share my fundamental outlook on the world. There aren't any issues I'd consider crossing the aisle for.
But have I ever really looked?
Meeting someone like Caroline was refreshing. She doesn't take any information for granted, and she doesn't let judgment or fear influence her into supporting ideologies she doesn't fully agree with.