Another point of view

Republicans give different perspectives on Jones culture

Some conservative students said their voices often feel drowned out in Jones’s political culture. 

Before and during the pandemic, Jones students tend to have views that align with the Democratic party but also voice Liberal/Leftist views. 

 “Overall, I have not really openly expressed my views because I know they aren’t as popular here at Jones,” said moderate Republican Jeffrey Brown* ‘23. 

Brown said he prefers not to express his views publicly but if he were to express his views, people would be understanding. 

“I think that if I was to be more open about them, people would at least tolerate it,” said Brown. “I would expect most people would tolerate or just give me their opinion, and then just keep it simple, if I were to be more open about it.”

With that said, Brown still said he should not speak openly in class the majority of the time, even if he disagrees with another student. 

“For example, today in a class, we were talking about classroom norms about not saying offensive things towards each other,” said Brown. “Obviously I agree that we should not say offensive things, but then I wanted to go and say that certain people are a lot more sensitive than others.”

Even though Brown said he thinks people would be accepting of his views, Alex Porter ‘22* said he has noticed that people do not take well to his views, causing him to feel uncomfortable speaking out in class. 

“I am not public with my views so I am not catching flack for them or anything, but I’ve noticed people don’t take kindly to ideas I believe in,” said Porter. “It doesn’t make me feel any less safe, but it’s just kind of awkward but when you know no one really agrees with you.”

Unlike Brown, however, Porter said people would view him differently if he were to be more open about his political beliefs. 

“In English or History class, mostly everyone in the class is liberal, so they’re speaking freely about their viewpoints,” said Porter. “And if I feel like I’d like to challenge an idea. I don’t, because I don’t want to threaten myself and I don’t think I could deal with being like an outcast like that.”

Porter said he would be treated differently if he were to be more open but does wonder if people would eventually accept him and his views. However, he liked the Republican Club, which provided a safe space for Republicans to share the perspectives. 

“I don’t know if people would eventually come around to it or not, but I think I would definitely be treated differently, especially at first,” said Porter. “We used to have a Republican club at Jones, but there’s not one this year, so there’s not really a safe space or anything for us, and I know there are other Republicans at school.”

In class, Porter has even been told he is in a safe space but has found that, when he or another student disagrees with the general student body, they are not treated well.

“I think we need to add a no-consequences to your opinion policy,” said Porter. “Most classes say they try and do that, but, if we are talking about something in a class and another outspoken Republican says something, you will often be scolded, even sometimes by the teacher.”

Brown said people should understand different sensitivities but also understand the context of certain statements. 

“Most students will make offensive jokes thinking their jokes, and obviously some are way less appropriate than others, but some of them are just either taken out of context or taken apart,” said Brown. Then again, people have different sensitivities so it makes sense for different people to be angry about certain things.”

However, Brown takes advantage of opportunities to anonymously speak in class on Pear Deck, a virtual presentation platform, and has sometimes openly spoken and found some people agreeing with his point of view. Once, his class discussed a police officer talking about trying to de-escalate a situation and trying to see the police as heroes. 

“In class, I said I kind of agree with the police officer about trying to de-escalate as much as possible, but I don’t agree with him riling up the police officers and trying to make the police officers see themselves as heroes,” said Brown. “I expected more of an outrage for trying to de-escalate where possible, but I was surprised to find a lot like a few people actually agreeing with me that I didn’t think would agree.”

Overall, Brown would be okay talking about his viewpoints with most other students, because of the tolerant student body attributed to Jones. 

“Jones, as a school, is already pretty tolerant of different views, and, even though there’s a lot of really loud people that might try to shut down opposing views, I think, for the most part, people at Jones are willing to listen,” said Brown. 

Another Republican, Michael Martin* ‘21 similarly to Porter, is also uncomfortable with speaking his views and prefers to keep the fact that he leans more conservative quiet. 

“I guess what causes this is the very majority liberal student body, which is what I and maybe others would consider being the reason to be quieter,” said Martin. 

For Martin to want to speak out more and be more open, he believes that Jones students should not be as judgmental and, instead, more open-minded about other people’s views. 

“I feel like students should make sure that they are not as judgemental and not assume things of people just based on if they are conservative or liberal,” said Martin. “You can be conservative and still have some liberal views on certain issues.”

Martin was not even comfortable voting for Trump in the Blueprint primary poll, in case someone would see and judge him for it. 

“I feel like, even though I do not support Trump totally, it would just make people assume that you believe x or y,” said Martin. “People would think that you are racist and stuff like that.”

Porter also does not want Republicans to be generalized in negative ways, especially just for supporting a certain candidate and/or certain viewpoint. 

“Recently, Republicans as a whole have been likened to racist, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-gender equality views,” said Porter. “I wish people would understand that not all Republicans view it that way, and, if you support a candidate who has those views, you are not often sharing them as a voter but rather are there for their other policies.”

*interviewee name replaced by fictional name in respect to their privacy