Last week, an esteemed conservative colleague of mine submitted a column within the Collegian that has drawn the ire of many on campus. While I disagree wholeheartedly on the stance he supported, the overwhelmingly negative responses he has drawn have left me somewhat envious.
To a politically inspired columnist, stirring up the anger from the opposition is the ultimate compliment. Actually motivating those who oppose you to get off the couch and write a letter of rebuttal means that you are doing something right. I personally clip out all of my hate mail and post it on the fridge, as it draws much more satisfaction than any subjectively graded test or paper from a professor.
So it was after witnessing the weeklong barrage of criticism and anger that I was tempted to stoop to the lowest level of journalistic writing and attack, without prejudice, those opinions I considered incorrect. Perhaps an article entitled, "Hitler Would be Proud of Today's Republican Party" would get the point across. Or better yet, "Evangelists and Republicans: An Incestuous Marriage." Maybe "Republicans Lower Poverty Rate by Sending Poor to Die in Iraq" could offend young conservatives as well as those training in the ROTC.
In retrospect, however, I realized that would be beneath me. In all fairness, it is quite unnecessary to dwell on the unproven when searching for errors within the neo-conservative party running our country.
Labels can be such a clich�, and while pointing them out may be good for entertainment, they rarely accomplish anything constructive. Such as if I were to note that current members of the Klu Klux Klan are almost unanimously Republican, I would be doing more to divide than unite us, and nobody wants that. Or to remark that the same Catholic Church that protected pedophiles from prosecution claimed it would be a sin to vote for a Democratic candidate who held a pro-choice stance.
There is simply too much ammunition and not enough time to shoot it off when attacking right-wingers. To name a few: how they support a president who lied not about extramarital affairs like his predecessor did, but about the reasoning behind sending thousands of Americans to their deaths on a whim; the duplicity of being "pro-life" while conversely encouraging the ownership of assault weapons and the expansion of the death penalty; the president going to war with the only secular Middle Eastern country while selling himself out to another that insists on keeping its female population oppressed and in beekeepers' outfits; having the gall to claim he "supports our troops," while simultaneously cutting their medical and retirement benefits; The fact that national defense spending has more to do with corporate profits than actually defending our country.
It is all too easy to attack the powers that be, however, when the real blame should be placed on those who voted for them. The Republicans in office are simply doing what they do best and what they have always done: protecting their interests. They are blue-blooded Americans who believe that might makes right. They have always supported corporate interests at the expense of the lower and middle classes, and they always will.
What is amazing recently is how they have managed to convince so many of the working class and poor of this country that they are on their side. The Republicans have struck a nerve with so many by painting themselves as moralists trying to protect mainstream America from the liberal doctrine of fetus killing, sex education, oil conservation and gay marriage. But in truth the blame lays with those of us who didn't vote or voted for the wrong reasons.
I could go off now about how most young Republicans are simply following instructions from their daddies, who didn't want to pay taxes, but that would be generalizing, and generalizing is wrong.
JP Eichmiller is a senior technical journalism major. His column runs every Wednesday in the Collegian.