A red voice in a sea of blue

Brynn Feighery, Online Editor-in-Chief

Students discuss ways to voice their opinions and take action in order to bring change to the community.

During the ongoing stretch of this emotionally charged election and its aftermath, views from all over the political spectrum have faced scrutiny. However, it seems like Republicans are placed under a bigger microscope at all levels, ranging from the national stage with the direct focus on President Donald Trump all the way down to discussions among teenagers.

Republicans- moderate, conservative and everything in between- have been criticized for having views of the same party as the widely unpopular president. However, many liberals consider the terms “conservative” and “Republican” to be synonymous with the far-right, which is an oversimplification that is not accurate nor applicable to all members of the party.

Many Northern Virginians believe that the opinions of a conservative mindset are of an extreme minority. To some extent, there is truth to this claim as demonstrated by the Democratic victory of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, albeit a relatively narrow victory. Opposingly, the vast majority of states cast their electoral votes for the Republican party.

Comparisons of government at the state and local levels show that there is a real possibility that the Republican party will surpass the Democratic party with the popular votes at all levels in the next few elections.  

There have been decreases in Democratic seats in the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as a in the number of legislators and governors identifying as Democrats since 2008.

To show the drastic nature of the decline, the decreases are as follows: 10.2 percent in the Senate, 19.3 percent in the House of Representatives, 20.3 percent of legislatures and 35.5 of governors, according to The Washington Post.

If these numbers aren’t enough to convince you of the growing Republican influence, look at the affiliations of the state governments. Only six states, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Delaware, have their state under total control of the Democratic party.

On the other hand, 25 states, mainly in the middle and southern areas of the country, have state governments that are completely under Republican control. The remaining 19 states have split state legislatures, which means that over half of the country is of a Republican majority at the state level.

Students, including myself, in the community who hold a conservative point of view often keep quiet. Personally, I prefer to withdraw from political banter with peers, so as not to fuel the fire because my conservative views don’t mesh well with the majority of opinions that fill the halls of Chantilly.  

“I think people almost alienate conservatives for having views that do not align with the ‘politically correct’ mainstream liberal agenda,” junior Patrick O’Shea said

Although we live in the tenth congressional district, which is under Republican control, Northern Virginia has a very concentrated liberal bias. At Chantilly, many students recently embraced the opportunity to join together and express their views at the Women’s March on Washington. However, conservative students who participated in the March for Life were looked down upon for having views different from the majority.

“I find it frustrating how liberal feminists have positioned themselves as spokeswomen for the entire gender,” senior Claire Craig said. “As a woman, I find it personally insulting to be attached to such a movement.”

Conservatives of all sorts feel that they are misrepresented in the community and mainstream media, and are often uncomfortable in the company of their outspoken liberal peers who may not truly understand the conservative agenda.

All individuals must figure out how to walk the fine line between expressing their views and standing up for themselves, while still preserving harmony in their environment. Nobody should have to fear persecution for the expression of their views.