Mason is known for its diversity. Among cultural diversity lies political diversity, which always makes for good conversa- tion, especially in the college setting.

The way my peers and fellow students look at me now, when I say that I am a republican, says that I am a conservative who has lost touch with modern society.

They feel that I would have the same ideals as my fellow members in the GOP, who call themselves the Tea Party.

The Tea Party has tarnished the image of the Republican Party. The problem that I have with the Tea Party, as a young republican, is that they are a loud minority who has very right wing views.

This is bad for our country and the Republican Party. The Republican Party needs to separate itself from this minority if it wishes to have more political power in Washington.

The Tea Party scares away more moderate and independent voters because these old ideals that conservatives follow are outdated, which result in more young people being drawn away from the party.

The ultra right-wing tea partiers have made me question the principles of my own political party. I feel as though change is needed in the policies and ideals that the Republican Party follows.

The problem with that, though, is there are still old conservative members in the party who refuse to change and feel that the ‘Reagan era’ way of thinking still works in today’s society. Many young moderate republicans who try to bring new ideas to the party get ignored or bullied by the ultra conservative tea party minorities or by the old conservatives on Capitol Hill who refuse to change their mindset.

This refusal of change leaves a lot of young republicans, lost like me, to either abandon their party or accept ideals that a majority doesn’t follow.

I am challenging young republicans to stand up and let your voice be heard, to not let the old conservatives bully you and to bring your new ideas to the party.

We are the future of the party, and we can change the way of thinking within it. Go to town hall meetings, email your congressmen and senators, go to political rallies and lets change this party together and introduce change that the Republican Party can follow.

Let’s distance our image from the ultra conservative tea party way of thinking. Let’s work with democrats and not villainies them as the ultra conservatives have. In the end, we are all Americans.