Our View: The beauty of opinion

Editorial Staff

For modern-day Kent State students, the primary purpose of May 4 is to ensure that the senseless deaths of Jeffrey Miller, Allison Krause, William Schroeder and Sandra Scheuer at the hands of the Ohio National Guard nearly half a century ago are not forgotten.

Still, May 4 represents something even broader, bearing the mark of a day in which an increasingly hostile political climate gripping the ‘70s erupted into something unthinkable.

The Cold War raged, America found itself fighting an unpopular proxy war against the Soviet Union in Vietnam and public distrust in the government heightened under a controversy-laden Nixon administration after he succeeded two terms worth of Democratic presidencies (John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson).

All the while, environmentalism, feminism and civil rights took the foreground of progressive agendas.

Sound familiar?

In the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s election, the divisive rhetoric that gripped the ‘70s returned. Anyone attuned to the political pulse of Kent State and beyond would be naive to assert otherwise.

That same bombastic language slung from both sides of the political aisle embodies why this opinion section plays a pivotal role in The Kent Stater.

Without a subjective outlet through which writers can express their utmost concerns, the 24-hour news cycle highlighting a bevy of problems at home and abroad can leave the average American feeling hopeless.

Some columns or editorials surely angered readers. Others may have elicited a sense of optimism for our nation’s future. After all, an opinion section featuring columns from both the College Democrats and Republicans is bound to subject itself to dissenting opinions from readers.

But that’s the beauty of this section — they’re opinions. Given how difficult it is to organize level-headed discussions between parties under the contemporary political conditions, seeing liberal, conservative and thoughts that lie somewhere in-between blend on the same page is something of a relic from an era long-forgotten.

We insist: get angry. If you feel unheard — if you feel that you have the power to enact change — speak up.

But most importantly, we each need to value the importance of listening to dissenting opinion.

After all, you can yell at an opinion section because you think a writer of a piece is wrong, but the newspaper sure as hell won’t yell back.

And that is the beauty of opinion.