The political climate of Seattle, especially within the walls of Roosevelt, is exceedingly liberal leaning. There is of course, more than just that one ideology. Conceived and founded sometime around the New Year, the RHS Republicans club aims to promote their views through open discussion, debates, and political involvement.
Vice President Ben Payne says that they want to “provide a platform for right-leaning students to come and talk with us and help us out.”
Political views are typically a result of ones environment, most prominently ones parents, but both Payne and the RHS Republicans President Jonathon Weiser say that research led them to their beliefs,
“I kind of ‘red pilled’ myself,” says Payne, “just learning and reading. Reading a lot.” Weiser went through a similar enlightenment of sorts. “My parents are definitely more left-leaning,” he adds, “I educated myself and I identify more as a republican.”
To be openly conservative at Roosevelt isn’t an easy task. The RHS Republicans have put signs up only to have them torn down shortly after, been called fascists and many other unflattering things, and feel an air of downright disapproval of them from not only current but also former students of Roosevelt.
On whether conservative students might be scared to join the RHS Republicans for these reasons, Weiser says,
“I personally think they are. One of our members lost friends lost friends just because they said they were conservative.”
Weiser and Payne agree that they, and conservatives at Roosevelt, have had their free speech encroached upon by the tearing down of their flyers, and being “shunned” by the liberal leaning school paper, The Roosevelt News among other things.
They don’t hold too many grudges with their critics; they would actually like to invite those who might disagree with them to come discuss their issues civilly.
“We are being called pretty harsh things and they know nothing about us,” Weiser says, “if people are interested in learning what conservatives think they should come to the club instead of ripping our posters down.”
Those meetings are held every Thursday in room 349. Finance Assistant for the Washington State Republican Party, Ashli Tagoai, advises them.
photos by: Taylor Powers