Campus Blind to Both Sides of Politicalspectrum

by publicationarchive

On Oct. 23, something interesting and rare happened on the UCSDcampus. It wasn’t a LAN party. Those are neither rare nor interesting– it was a Republican rally.

Agroup of students gathered together in response to the seeminglyone-sided liberal anti-war sentiment presented by UC students, and toshow support for President George W. Bush.

Even though Bush has made questionable decisions, and no leaderdeserves to be blindly supported, the rally was a beautiful thing.

In a day when almost all rallies are ultra-liberal, tree-huggingfestivals where many of the participants are more concerned withbeing “activists” than they are with the issues, it is a breath offresh air to see republicans speaking out.

Don’t get me wrong, I like hugging trees as much as the next guy,and liberal students often have valid points. However, theconservative voice is underrepresented on college campuses. Being arepublican doesn’t mean you always have to wear a suit and tie andnever speak out. Campus conservatives need to be louder.

Attending a university with a majority of liberal views, too oftenwe lose track of the other side of an argument. If we’re at collegeto learn, why not expose ourselves to as many political views aspossible?

I can’t walk through campus without seeing a sign for StudentsAgainst Sweatshops or MEChA, which is the Movimiento EstudiantilChicana/o de Aztlan. Groups like these are positive things for thecampus, but where are the Young Republicans?

Ideally, the entire spectrum of politics would be represented oncampus, including those we despise.

Both the Fascist and Communist parties should have a voice on theSDSU campus.

However, there are not many students on campus who hold thoseunpopular views and even fewer willing to voice them.

It is understandable that exposure to some views is minute, but anideology as prominent as that of the Republican Party must be heard.There are many situations on campus when the conservative voice needsto turn up its microphone.

As a campus community, we need to welcome that voice. However, atUCSD that was not entirely the case.

There were students protesting the rally, holding signs like “GivePeace a Voice.” One student commented that the reason she wasprotesting was because the rally strengthened a racist ideology thatleads to hate crimes.

Hate crimes and racism are damaging to the community, but whatalso breaks down a community is attempting to censor one another.Just as they would follow the law, responsible citizens shouldwelcome opposing viewpoints — perhaps offering a rebuttal but neverdrowning that opinion out.

The students protesting the rally were not in the wrong. Theirside needs a voice as well, but tolerance is necessary.

Their signs should be offering an opposing opinion, but notinterfering with the participants’ desire to be heard.

In general, college should be more like a debate. It shouldpresent as many sides of politics as possible, adamantly but alwayswith civility. Some sides need to speak more, and others must learnto listen.

–Joe Zarro is an undeclared sophomore.

–This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of TheDaily Aztec. Send e-mail to letters@thedailyaztec.com.Anonymous letters will not be printed — include your full name,major and year in school.