This post was due over a month ago. It has taken me two full months to get my hands to the keyboard and begin articulating my thoughts. Frankly, I’m terrified. My only solace is the anonymity that I can write behind because otherwise, I would be so fearful of the backlash that is sure to follow a post of such an unpopular opinion.
As I begin, I want to convey that it is not my intention or desire to sway anyone’s beliefs, opinions, political party affiliation, or otherwise. I write today in hopes of assuring my fellow Republican millennial moms, be them possibly far and few between, that others share similar thoughts, and that it is indeed okay to maintain your beliefs even in a sea of Democratic peers. Also, I’d like to shine a tiny bit of light on what it feels like to be so grossly labeled and lumped into a mass category that doesn’t describe me, or the bulk of my Republican counterparts.
I think one thing most can agree on is that there are always going to be outliers. One extremist, or group of extremists, can tarnish the perception of an entire entity. Here’s the thing though, most of us millennial moms who are Republicans are not extremists. We aren’t flying confederate or “don’t tread on me” flags; we’re not buying tickets to the next Trump rally. Heck! I would wager a bunch of us wouldn’t have chosen Trump as our first pick Republican presidential candidate. But, alas, I somehow keep finding myself labeled as one of those crazy, die-hard, right-winged, confederate flag-waving, gun-toting, turbo conservative, intolerant, racist Republicans who at their core, must be a terrible human being. I can assure you, I am not, and it is wearing on my heart that people believe that about all of us, or at least the vast majority of us.
As a Republican millennial mom, I tend to refrain from sharing my political affiliation. Instead, I quietly scroll past all of the memes, posts, and comments that fling hurtful generalizations in my direction. However, one such comment struck a chord with me recently. It was posted on a kid’s clothing buy, sell, trade Facebook page, of all places, in response to someone searching for Trump 2020 attire, an action that was completely permissible within the guidelines of the group. It read, “this man perpetuates ignorance, racism, bigotry, and misogyny and yesterday tweeted about “white power.” And you’re going to make your child a walking advertisement for him. On behalf of the tolerant, loving humans in America, please stop raising hateful people. Admins, don’t bother deleting me. I gotta go. I’m disappointed and disgusted by the mothers in this post.”
So, I get it; this particular woman is not a fan of Trump. Many aren’t. Totally fine, and to each their own. But, to me, it felt awfully contradictory of her to declare herself tolerant and loving, if she then, in the very same statement, makes the assumption that all of us following this particular thread were raising hateful people. That doesn’t sound very tolerant at all. But you know who is tolerant? Me and the bulk of Republican millennial moms. We don’t fight back. We are careful and respectful of other’s feelings. We operate with the mentality of “you do you” and place a much higher value on our friendships versus our political differences. I didn’t respond to that woman’s comment, but I did get to thinking about how hurtful this one particular comment was. She doesn’t know me. She has no idea how I raise my tiny humans. She doesn’t know why I vote the way I vote. Would she take the time to hear my side? Is it even worth it? I’m not so sure, so I did what I always do, and kept scrolling, minding my own business like most Republican millennial moms would do.
Ultimately, I’m feeling pretty silenced, and a bit intimidated these days. Beyond the mere fact that I’m currently in the trenches of raising small children, and don’t have the mental capacity to defend my political affiliation repetitively, I feel like it wouldn’t matter even if I did. I take comfort in knowing that I am doing the best I can to teach love, compassion, honesty, hard work, and some benefit of the doubt within the four walls of my home. That is something I can control. I will make my voice heard when it comes time to vote, and I encourage all – regardless of political party – to do the same. It is, after all, our privilege as Americans living in a representative democracy to participate in voting for our government officials.
I want to thank Indianapolis Moms for allowing me to share my viewpoint. Indianapolis Moms is not a single voice, an individual perspective, a unique experience but a collective voice of motherhood, and I very much appreciate that they are willing to share the unpopular views from time to time.