April 27

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Bruce Jenner Breaks GOP Stereotype

Bruce Jenner gave an interview Friday night with Diana Sawyer about being transgender. When she asks him about President Obama being the first president to say the word transgender, he tells her that he is happy the president said it but he’s not really a fan. Diana Sawyer is shocked, and asks with an incredulous tone, “Are you a Republican!?” Jenner answers yes. He is a conservative and he believes in the constitution. Jenner not only is breaking the stereotype of being transgender, but also the stereotype of being a Republican.

This interview is a perfect example of how Republicans are immediately classified as those who have very conservative social views. The Republican Party, however, is much more than that. The party needs to adhere to it’s core belief: limited government. This means no discrimination for social issues. Many people say they are socially liberal but fiscally conservative. If the Republican party could be this, there would be a huge part of the electorate that would be proud to be part of the GOP.

I was shocked that Jenner said he was a Republican, because as Sawyer showed by her reaction, it’s not something you find that often in cities like LA. His statement, however, reminded me what it means to be Republican, and made me hope that socially conservative Republicans can change. It may take one person at a time, but it can happen. I asked someone the other day what his political views were and he said about the government: “get out of my wallet and get out of my bedroom.”

Freedom to live your own life how you choose. That’s what it means to be a Republican. Jenner is an example of this freedom. He has just come out with his true identity. While many would believe because of this he would strictly be a Democrat, he is brave that he again, is true to himself and not just focused on social issues. In fact, he said in the interview he would have no problem reaching out to Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans to advocate for his social rights. Instead of backing down to a stereotype, Jenner is an example of the new type of Republican. Limited government, maximum freedom, with a core belief in the Constitution. There are many Republicans who feel the same way, and are working to change the gay marriage status in America. Senator Lisa Murkowski, for example, wrote an oped where she speaks about how she turned to support gay marriage. If you apply the same fiscal principles at the center of the GOP to social principles at the center of many Democrats, you would discover that it is every persons choice to live their life in the way they choose. Whether that is gay, straight, bisexual, or transgender, the choice is up to you. That choice is truly what it means to be Republican, and it is people like Bruce Jenner who can make others believe this, and redefine the GOP stereotype.