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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Combative leftists and political perspective

<rleton confuses me.  Almost everything that matters about the school – the academics, the professors, the students, the facilities – is amazing.  The people, in particular, are great.  I am often left stunned when random acts of kindness (literal or not) catch me looking the other way. 

What am I so confused about, then?  The nearly militant stance against American conservatism.

I was left dumbfounded after a conversation with a fellow freshman early in fall term.  He displayed a vibrant, determined, intelligent personality.  More importantly, he appeared thoughtful and open-minded, forcing me to respect him.

That was until he said that he didn’t understand what “all of the Republicans are attacking Obama for.”  As if Barack Obama is some kind of political Dumbledore who would be able to solve America’s problems if it weren’t for the silly conservatives.

To be sure, I won’t deny that I’ve laughed at mindless things that have come out of the mouths of Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich.  Some of it is ridiculous.  Much of it, though, is blown completely out of proportion and context by a media that is undeniably leftist and spread like wildfire by campuses that are, if possible, even more liberal.  Hate to sound cliché, but we live in a liberal swamp, and the only way out to some form of illumination is to realize it.

Let’s also remember some silly stunts pulled by Obama himself.  For one, he appointed multiple cabinet officials from the Bush White House – the same Bush administration that Obama vowed to completely change in order to get the country on the right track.  He also proclaimed to the American people that the bombing in Libya was a human rights issue when (1) it was obviously an oil issue and (2) is complete nonsense when paired up with the hundreds of other human rights violations across the Middle East and the world.  Why choose that one, Mr. President?  Any other reason?

I am not a conservative, but I am incensed at the intelligent people I see who are remarkably gifted at particle physics and can read hundreds of pages a day for class but do not have the capacity to look at a political debate or news article without automatically thinking that the Democratic view is the correct one. 

I’m not saying to attack all politicians.  I am saying that emotional appeals against conservative candidates and assumptions that a quote has basis just because Obama’s name is next to it are embarrassing for a college that prides itself on tolerance and academic excellence.

Part of the problem, I believe, is that many of us were raised to believe that we are always right.  Our views – adopted from our parents, no doubt – must always be correct because that’s what they’ve told us.  I can’t deny that I have convictions from my childhood that certainly didn’t come from my own conscious thought.  Realizing this is the first step to coming up with an individual conception of anything, and until we do that, what use does a $200,000 education have?   

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