“Meet the Republicans” aimed to introduce conservative ideals and dispel stereotypes

Article By: Angela Bray

Last Wednesday, SuffolkGOP held a, “Meet the Republicans” event to discuss Republican values and beliefs. Members of SuffolkGOP favor debates and discussions, bringing opinions and desires together.

SuffolkGOP President, junior Karl Hoffman, opened up the meeting with a brief introduction, explaining how he sought out the organization as a support system for Republicans, or Conservatives at Suffolk.

A panel of members spoke about their reasons for being Conservative, or Republicans, including Zack Dillahunty (2012), Lindsay Kallander (2011), Karl Beckstein (2012) (Vice-President), and Jim M. Wilson (2010) (President Emeritus). About twenty-five attendees were given the opportunity to ask any questions to the panel, as a wide variety of topics were covered. The panel discussion was not proposed for conversion, but was intended to educate the campus on Conservative morals and standards.

One of the first issues argued was firearms. “Anyone who questions it doesn’t understand it. It’s a person’s right to defend themselves,” Wilson said. Further reasoning, Kallander identified shooting to be a sport to some. Other discussion topics included the legalization of marijuana, taxes, employment, gay marriage, gay adoption, and abortion.

Beckstein believes the legalization of marijuana should not be a federal law, “but it is a state’s issue.”
“I don’t have an issue with people using [marijuana],” said Wilson. “If the state decides to legalize it, that’s their choice.”

Moving on to taxation, Beckstein said, “There should be a flat tax. That would be most fair to everybody.”
In terms of employment, a more productive company is able to hire more workers than an average company. “CEO’s are going to get bonuses and higher pay,” said Wilson. “It’s not my business what somebody else is paid.”

The panel members denied that the Republican Party is anti-gay, as it is widely perceived. “It’s an old stereotype that hasn’t grown at all. The stereotype needs to be squashed,” said Kallander.

“I personally don’t care. It doesn’t affect me, it’s not my business,” said Wilson.

As for gay adoption, Dillahunty said it should be allowed. “But, studies show the optimal environment is having a mother and a father.” Kallander agreed, but recognizes it can be a struggle.

Abortion is another controversial issue in the Republican Party. “I’m pro-choice. Some women have to [have an abortion]. It’s disappointing, it’s immoral, but you need to have the choice,” said Kallander. “Everyone has a right to life. It’s a fundamental [right] we should all have,” said Beckstein, taking another stance on the issue.

The main priority of the meeting was to break the stereotypes defining Conservative principles. The panel took turns defending their side. The Republican Party is widely viewed a Christian party. Beckstein disagreed, deeming it an unfair statement.

“I’m not religious, I’m not Christian. It’s more about the tolerance of other things allowing you to create issues,” Wilson said.

Hoffman said, “We’re as different as we are similar,” referring to the varying views within SuffolkGOP.
“There is always someone available to discuss issues,” said Hoffman, as he closed the discussion.