On Friday at CPAC in National Harbor, Maryland, former 2016 presidential candidate Carly Fiorina spoke to a packed crowd. During her conversation with Arthur Brooks, the classy Fiorina spoke eloquently on the Republican win, where to go from here, and resistance.
In the interview, Fiorina said that “Substantial change inspires substantial resistance.” This statement was made in regards to the Republican Party’s 2016 election win and the visceral reaction of the left. From organized protests, such as Linda Sarsour’s women’s march to AntiFa’s violent rioting at UC Berkeley, the Left has taken to the streets to express its distaste for President Donald J. Trump–who they still insist is not theirs.
However, at least according to Fiorina, this is to be expected. There is a large shift going on in our country. Former liberal President Barack Obama had a soft foreign policy and pro-refugee acceptance stances. Trump, by contrast, has a pro-Israel, pro-closed borders foreign policy, and has already implemented his immigration ban on seven terrorist hotbeds.
President Obama’s supporters–the same people who voted for Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders–are unhappy. Although many people have criticized these protests, there needs to be another perspective introduced, and it is that of the liberals and democrats. They are unhappy for various reasons, from proposed human rights violations to comments our President has made in the past.
These people should play an important part in America’s national dialogue. For example, when LGBTQ people express concern over certain legislation or repeals, we have a duty to listen and be informed of different perspectives. If we want a peaceful, cohesive America, we need to put people before partisanship.
Carly Fiorina stated “Most problems are better solved by people who are affected by those problems.” She’s right: we just can’t exclude people from a discussion of their own experiences. This is especially true if they see the world in a way that people in office are not able to relate to. It is a position of earned privilege to be a public servant. As a public servant, the values and opinions of all constituents, not just the ones who agree with you, should matter.
American values are for all Americans. Every citizen should be able to live freely, without having their rights infringed upon by the government.
But where do we draw the line? If we define civil rights as the rights of all citizens to political and social freedom and equality, why do we not allow transgender teenagers to use the restrooms of their choice, or at least an alternate, single-stall restroom? Are we infringing on their rights to social and political freedom? The freedom to express their identified gender?
It’s a slippery slope. And yet, no transgender public school student had a chance to speak up and share how their lives could be affected by the repeal of the Obama era protections, and they are the ones most affected.
Perhaps this is the time for unity. We need to discuss, in a civil manner, the perspectives of others and what American values truly are. In a nation where our pledge of allegiance says “with liberty and justice for all,” it’s our duty to guarantee that that remains true and valid for generations to come.