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My Point of View: Democrats haven’t been party of young people for a while

My Point of View, By Aaron Farris

First things first: Merry Christmas! In just a few short days, I turn 18 and will be able to vote in my first election! I’ve been involved for the past two election cycles without being able to vote, so as I’m sure many of you can guess, I’m very excited to exercise my right to vote. What a unique time to be a first-time voter. In my opinion, we’re in the midst of one of the most divisive periods in U.S. political history, and it’s showing locally. As a 16-year-old who couldn’t vote at the time and simply wanted to express a point of view on local events, I had a letter to the editor written about me by one of the county DFL’s most recycled letter writers. He accused Republicans of spreading misinformation, made six completely laughable claims about me, a 16-year-old, while trying to slander my reputation for expressing my opinion. These claims included accusations of racism, homophobia, climate change denial and even sexual assault. That county DFL member’s wife wrote last week in response to Robert Hoffman’s column and accused him of trying to “elicit fear” and “red baiting.” Ironic, I know. Now, I knew that was the kind of reaction I and others would receive by challenging the views of the “party of tolerance” as a young conservative, but I was still surprised because I was young and had never done anything like that before. Now, after being involved for a few years, I have seen the true side of the DFL — the side that doesn’t want young people to think for themselves and make their own informed decisions but would rather make those decisions for them. I anticipate their attacks and look forward to them demonstrating in next week’s opinion section exactly what I’m talking about.

Aaron Farris

As a young Republican who doesn’t fit the Democrat’s narrative of what young people should be, it’s no wonder why the Democrats feel the need to attack young Republicans from every angle. We don’t fit their message. Without young people, the Democrats lose — plain and simple. The Democrats think they have the youth vote locked up by using bait issues like student loan forgiveness. However, the Democrats haven’t been the party of young people for a long time. A party that seeks to take more of their paychecks, that only respects their opinion when it’s politically convenient for them and agrees with them, and a party that lies to them about where the Republicans truly stand on the issues. When the Democrats see a young Republican start to make waves and speak his mind, name calling is the first place they go. Racist, mysogenist, Nazi; the list goes on. It’s no wonder people don’t know about the plethora of young Republicans out there who want to share their thoughts and opinions but are too scared due to the fear of being maimed by someone near them with a dissenting opinion.

With the warehouse fire in Albert Lea a couple weeks ago, our Freeborn County GOP vice chairman was interviewed on TV about helping families evacuate and praying for them. A member of the county DFL attacked him for praying. Yes, praying. I’m as unsurprised as you are. The county DFL sent their Facebook trolls after me when I said following Gov. Walz’s announcement that he would allow elementary schoolers to return to school that all students and teachers should have the option to return to school. Of course, the Democrats attacked me because heaven forbid we let any family have the option to send their child to the school that their tax dollars pay for.

The Republican Party supports entrepreneurial programs for young Americans, preserving civil rights and among many other things, the right to freedom of speech. One thing the Democrats forget far too often is that just because something is offensive to them or they disagree with it, does not give them a free pass. Everything we say, including things that are offensive and hurt others’ feelings, are protected by our First Amendment rights, and that works both ways. Yet, Republicans aren’t the ones canceling people/things. To the young voters reading this, don’t take the word of the media, the Democrats or even myself. Look into the issues yourself, research candidates and make informed decisions. I think you’ll like what you see on the Republican pages.

I’m sure I’ll get a response to this column next week by one of the five county Democrats who like to complain about every single thing our Republican columns say just to see their names in the paper, and to that I say good. Looking forward to it! Merry Christmas, and let’s remember to support our small businesses like The Interchange and The Pour House!

Aaron Farris is the secretary of the Freeborn County Republican Party. He is the party’s youngest activist.