Remember Respect (By: Jade Likely)

It’s hard to live in Madison without being slammed with political opinions. As one of the top advertised-to cities in America, Madison is a whirlwind of political activity and information, especially this close to the election. It’s no secret that Dane County is a liberal area—Madisonians are some of the most outspoken and active Democratic voices in the nation (remember those recalls, everyone?). A swing state like Wisconsin is undoubtedly an interesting place to live.

Of course, I have many friends who were right there in the Capitol rotunda, circling around with anti-Walker signs. They are the same ones with Obama stickers on their computers and “Tammy For Senate” pins on their backpacks. I admire their enthusiasm and pride for what they believe in. It’s great to see young people advocating for their rights and exercising their political abilities. Like everyone says, we are America’s future. I’m glad America’s future is invested in the well-being of their country.

However, I also have friends—some of my best friends, in fact— who are part of what seems to be the silent party of Madison: The young Republicans. They believe wholeheartedly in the Conservative outlook and feel that Mitt Romney is made to be America’s next leader. They are as passionate as my ProBama friends. They are just on the complete opposite side of the spectrum.

It’s an interesting contrast—seeing how avid supporters of both political parties react to their surroundings, to the opposition’s ideas and to the political environment in general. As someone who prefers to keep my viewpoints to myself on political points, I admire their avid advocation for what they believe in.

Neither is right in their beliefs, and neither is wrong. I know what I believe and I am comfortable enough in that to listen to others’ standpoints without attacking or judging. Political affiliation can bring people together, but I in no way believe that it should ever tear friends or colleagues apart. This close to a presidential election in a political hub like Madison, the number one thing to remember is that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It’s our American right.

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