High Point University

No, I am not conservative because of my parents

Ally Ortolani is pictured second from right along with her family members. Photo by Ally Ortolani

By Ally Ortolani

Opinion Editor

How could a young, biracial woman be a conservative? How could she be a conservative if the color of her skin does not match the “correct” political party? She must be “against” her gender and race if she is a conservative. She must be corrupted by rich, white men.

I am a 20-year-old college student, I am a woman and I am biracial. I am also majoring in journalism with a double minor in business administration and Italian studies with aspirations to attend law school. I also speak Italian, but more importantly, I am a conservative.

To the liberal mainstream, those who match this description are akin to a mythical unicorn. We are strange and surprising; however, individuals like myself are being celebrated in some newspapers and magazines for redefining social and cultural expectations. I truly love it when people are dumbfounded and confused that people like me exist.

I was raised by an ultra-conservative and Catholic family. Almost every night during my adolescence, and still today, Fox News played in my living room as my Grandfather verbally attacked CNN and any- thing liberal. I will not deny that I was influenced by the beliefs of my family, but let me make one thing clear: I am not conservative just because of my parents.

Many have criticized me because the color of my skin and my gender does not match with the appropriate political party. I am proud to be biracial. I am just as proud to celebrate my Italian heritage as my Filipino heritage. I have been told that I should not support or even like President Donald Trump be- cause I am “kinda brown.”The media narrative push- es those who are biracial, or “kinda brown” like myself, to be liberal. Alas, I stand out like a sore thumb.

Many people fail to realize that these comments are outright racist. Being a victim of both racist and sexist commentary only fuels my passion for political activism even further. My voice will only become louder. So, how could I possibly be a conservative? It comes quite easily to me.

I only support legal immigration. Securing our borders is of the utmost importance, and those who illegally enter our country should not be granted the same rights as those who obey the law and enter legally. My mother, along with countless other relatives of mine, entered this country legally and obtained citizenship the proper way.

I am in complete support of President Trump making immigration and border control the centerpiece of his presidency. Protecting and assisting those within our country should be of the utmost importance, not illegal immigrants. Yes, they are illegal. I refuse to be politically correct in this context. If you enter this country illegally, you are henceforth an illegal immigrant.

Securing our borders is not just about those who enter illegally. It is also about reducing the influx of narcotics transported into the United States.

“Violence in Mexico affects U.S. border towns, growing amounts of fentanyl and precursor chemicals from China are transiting Mexico to the United States, and opium poppy cultivation in Mexico continues to surge, contributing to the U.S. opioid crisis,” according to a National Interest article.

Drug trafficking continues to show itself as a pressing and highly dangerous matter.

The ever growing Mexican cartels continue to deliver large quantities of cheap methamphetamine, along with an array of other drugs, to the United States through the southern border. According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, seizures of methamphetamine at the border increased from 8,900 pounds in 2010 to nearly 82,000 pounds in 2018.

Conservatives like myself value the sanctity of our borders and the rule of law. Those who break the law do not have the same rights as those who obey it. It is extremely offensive for illegal immigrants to expect the same treatment and care as those who enter legally. Enforcing strict border control is fundamental to the safety of Americans.

Equally as controversial, I have been candid and blunt about my stance on abortion. Abortion is murder, and supporting abortion is supporting murder. Taxpayer dollars should not be used for the government to subsidize abortions. How could one dare to end the life of unborn babies who cannot defend themselves? How dare women use abortion as a form of birth control in the name of some “feminist” act. Where is this supposed equality and compassion liberals preach? Why aren’t they treating unborn babies with the same respect? A life is a life.

Yes, both women and men should have control over their bodies; however, when it comes to the life of another individual, the sole opinion of the woman is not the only opinion that matters.

Abortion is extremely gruesome. It is not cute, nor it is pretty. There is no nice way to explain it, not to mention the possible medical and psychological effects of going through such a procedure. Many families who are unable to procreate could have a chance at parenthood if another female is unwilling to raise her child. While it is easier said than done, fixing the adoption system rather aborting the unborn child, is a far better alternative.

Yes, there are rare instances of rape and incest. U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported in 2015 that only 1.5 percent of all abortions were due to rape and incest. Why should all abortion cases be held to that same standard as a minuscule number of cases? Furthermore, should the child itself be punished for the crime?

There has been a slight decrease in the number of performed abortions in the United States; however, there still were 862,000 abortions performed in 2017. Let that sink in. The helpless lives of almost a million unborn babies were victims of these abortion procedures. What happened to valuing the sanctity of life?

Conservatism has given me a set of moral and ethical beliefs that I value and abide by. I was raised to work hard for what I want in life. As a conservative, I believe in the importance of personal responsibility, lower taxes and a smaller government with limited power. This is the most effective way to promote self-sufficiency.

The role of the government should be to provide individuals the freedom to pursue and achieve their goals. The government cannot alleviate all social ills. Free college, free healthcare and a basic universal income all sound fantastic in a completely hypothetical scenario, but it is not attainable. This is the hard, practical truth. Feelings do not change facts; proof does.

What does one have to work for if everything is handed to them? Where is the incentive to work hard to achieve our dreams? Conservatism is based around facts, logic and reality; whereas liberalism is based on feelings and fantasy.

I find a great deal of freedom and empowerment as a conservative. Being one who sticks out like a fish out of water, I plan to continue exercising my First Amendment rights while wearing my conservative values on my sleeve. Do not get me wrong, my unwavering conservative values does not mean I reject compromise. I intend to seek understanding with the hope of finding a middle-ground for those with opposing views.

However, I do love to be right. Pun intended.