Perspective: Liberal Republicanism

There’s more to political parties than Democrat or Republican


Samantha Mattingly

Samantha Mattingly, Managing Editor

Scrolling through social media, there’s all kinds of perspectives being shared all the time. Though, in spite of all these perspectives, everything seems black and white. People often tend to blindly follow their own side of issues. At least, that’s what modern media looks like. You’re republican or you’re democrat. You’re neither? You must be a spineless centrist, then. Oh, you’re republican? So you’re a pro life, homophobic conservative right? You’re a democrat? Well, then you’re a snowflake liberal. Political beliefs have become lines, and you’re either on one side or the other.
A lot of people divide politics by democrats and republicans, liberals and conservatives. But what about those who see benefits on both sides? Socially, they consider themselves liberal because they support defunding the police, marriage, gender, and racial equality. However, economically and politically, they find sense in the republican side of things. Such as restrictions on federal government, private businesses, and not a whole lot of governmental control in general is best.
A Liberal Republican party was founded in 1872 as a republican platform that didn’t support Ulysses S. Grant, then later became known as Rockefeller Republicans, named after Nelson Rockefeller. The party was more liberal on domestic issues, including focus on environmentalism, higher education, and healthcare as well as their stance on social rights.
However, this party held Republican views as well, like government ownership and big business. In simpler terms: pro capitalism, pro equality, and anti corruption.
Why don’t people use this term anymore? Why has being pro choice become synonymous to being anti business? It shouldn’t be. Political alignments should not be so constricting as to grant the follower no room for independent thought. Political issues are rarely black and white, so why have we made our parties so divisive?
I find myself agreeing with Rockefeller Republicans on a variety of issues, and I wish I could have learned about them when learning about the other political parties. I feel relieved that I can hold both Democratic and Republican beliefs, that these opinions can coincide. And I highly doubt I’m the only one.