It was over 70 degrees here in Northfield, today! Excited about the new warm weather, many cadets took to the outdoors, barbecuing, throwing frisbees and footballs, sitting in lawn chairs and even hammocks. I didn't opt to jam out to music outside like everyone else. I listened to rustling leaves and water. Who wants to go to a gym on such a nice day when Paine Mountain gives you all the exercise you need?
After a hilarious performance by the prospects, which included bad accents, inside jokes, a roast session, some great hits, and a birthday celebration, they were awarded their white cords. Back in the "Old Corps," the members of the band were contracted, so the cord represents that. Even though members of the band aren't all contracted today, their white cord is still a major achievement they've looked forward to all year. They still have a long way to go, though. They're still only prospects.
When the election first began, my boyfriend and I had been dating for over a year. When he first told me that he supported Trump, I could see why. Our economy is in rough shape and the thought of a businessman running the country seemed to make sense in that regard. For a very brief time (maybe about a week), I thought that Trump may do some great things for this country. That is, until I heard his rhetoric and policies.
In the beginning, I seriously began to question why I was with someone who supported a man spewing hate-speech, bragging about sexual assault, and trying to limit the rights of women and minorities. I never considered leaving him -- he's extremely supportive of me and treats me better than I deserve. I just needed to relearn what I thought I knew about him. What I realized is that his political opinion doesn't necessarily make him less of the man I love.
What I had to recognize, and what countless others still have to recognize, is that we grew up in two different schemas. While I grew up in the City of Buffalo as lower middle-class, with a divorced mother who struggled to make ends meet, and attended a diverse public school, he grew up in the suburbs with two parents, a family business, and attended a private school. This means that we have two opposing views of the world. For example, some of the things I care about are the poor and middle-classes, minorities, the LGBTQ community, abortion, and refugees, because I grew up with people that were a part of these issues or also cared about them. Some of the things he cares about are businesses and the military. He cares about these things because they relate directly to him. He didn't grow up the way I did, with a myriad of backgrounds. He grew up with people exactly like him, with the same interests that also benefited themselves.
Take, for example, the issue of minimum wage. With my background, I was for raising the minimum wage to a fair extent. He, on the other hand, is completely against it. That made me angry at first because, within my schema, it seemed like something that truly needed to be done. But I also have to take into consideration his schema. His family owns a small business. Raising the minimum wage would absolutely ruin them and losing their business could be a grave possibility.
In the end, we can't let political opinions skew our perception of others. We all grew up differently, and we can't help that. How we grow up may shape our political views, but that doesn't mean that our political views define who we are. I'm a liberal against excessive gun control, and I'm dating a Trump-supporter for LGBTQ rights. In the same way that you cannot assume I am a "liberal snowflake," you cannot assume that he is a "racist, sexist, homophobic Trump-supporter." What I'm trying to say is, take the time to learn about a person's background before undermining their character. You just might be surprised.