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home : letters : letters May 26, 2016

3/8/2013 9:49:00 AM
GOP needs to understand issues that matter

To the Editor:

I write this letter in response to a letter printed in last week’s Times; it was written by Ms. Karen Schroeder of Rice Lake. As a brief summary, Ms. Schroeder states in her letter that “Progressives, humanists, liberals, and Democrats have been granted unfettered control to manipulate [school] curricula in their favor” and attributes President Obama’s popularity with young voters and his re-election to this phenomenon.

I found this letter concerning for a few reasons. As a fairly recent high school grad, I would like to debunk the myth that teachers, professors, and other educators are shoving political ideology down our throats. This is the furthest idea from the truth, and honestly, many find this view offensive, as it undermines young people by assuming that they are not capable of taking responsibility for their own political views and are just mere sheep, following the every whim of their educators. I cannot speak for all, but during my educational journey, my teachers always encouraged me and my peers to ask important questions and to never take information at face value, especially information we find on the Internet. Additionally, we were always taught to look at situations from a variety of perspectives and news sources in order to decide for ourselves what opinion we find most valid. In no way, throughout any of my years in high school, did I ever feel pressured to think one thing over another. And, not one of my teachers ever disclosed his/her religious views or political ideologies to me. Although it may be scandalous to think teachers are that impressionable on their students’ political ideologies, I have not seen any evidence of this in my education.

Ms. Schroeder likes to accredit Barrack Obama’s popularity with young voters to the brainwashing techniques and persuasive power of educators. But the fact is, most young adults are becoming more liberally-minded when it comes to social issues, or at least more moderate than their grandparents are/were. My generation is growing up in a society where its more acceptable to be different; regardless of political party affiliation, most young Democrats and Republicans alike agree that people should have equal protection under the law, no matter their skin color, sexual orientation, or lifestyle. Also, since the upcoming generation is the most socially and ethnically diverse generation ever, this sort of tolerance is crucial for our society. One might call this society “bass-ackwards” or “immoral,” because my generation tends to support things like equal rights for the LGBT community, or healthcare-covered birth control, or even abortion, but I would consider this society to be more tolerant, inclusive, and in touch with the harsh realities of the world.

People can come up with a variety of explanations for why Barrack Obama won the election, but it doesn’t take a political scientist to see the reality: If the Republican Party ever wants to survive and stay relevant, they need to tailor their party platform in order to attract younger voters and people of color – especially women of color. I have met countless young Republicans during my experience at college who are at a crossroad; they identify with fiscal conservatism and the idea of limited government but do not identify with social conservatism. It is difficult to identify with social conservatism when the individual might have a gay best friend, know someone who has had an abortion, or use contraceptives in his/her/zir sex life. I cannot speak for all young people, but I think it’s safe to say that many young adults find it extremely difficult to relate to the Republican Party, the party of Todd Akin and his “legitimate rape” comments and Roger Rivard, who was quoted saying that “Some girls rape easy.” 

Many young Republicans desire a more moderate Republican Party, and it’s in my opinion that if the Republican Party wants to thrive, politicians need to address and compromise on issues that matter to our ethnically and socially diverse generation, such as immigration reform, LGBT rights, and women’s rights.

Carley Kleinhans
Arbor Vitae 
and Grinnell, Iowa

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Article comment by: kevin south

So Create Wisconsin on the Dept. of Public Instruction website is merely a sugestion for teacher development? I guess the Pilgrims were infact illegal aliens...suggested books for instructors: Columbus Was A Canibal-since it has been exposed by EAGnews.org, (great video) DPI has sanitized it, as to not be so offensive to 'whitey'.

Posted: Saturday, March 9, 2013
Article comment by: Chris Hansen

This is the most well written response to a letter that I have seen in this newspaper in quite a while. Ms. Kleinhans' parents should be proud. I too am a former Republican. That's not to say that I am a Democrat either. I went to college and agree that there is no agenda forced down any student's throat. I think what a lot of people don't like is that differing viewpoints, not usually presented at a high school level, are presented in college. It's thrown out there and the student is left to determine who is right or wrong.

Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013
Article comment by: Carley k.

My apologies, my computer autocorrected Barack to barrack.

Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013
Article comment by: Richard Collins

As a retired teacher, Carley, I'd like to thank you for your insightful and reasoned letter. Ms. Shroeder, the writer of the letter you answered, however, will not be convinced by you. Ms . Shroeder and others like her cite as "proof" of your "brainwashing" by your teachers the fact that you admit you are more accepting of people who are "different" and that you have no problem being tolerant of others.

You are absolutely correct . . . if the modern GOP does not want to the way of the Whigs and the Anti-Federalists, it has to cease being the modern-day No-Nothing Party.

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