Radical views are ‘black eyes’ upon ideological faces

Guest columnist

I am writing to express my disappointment with the editor’s decision to run two of the most ill-advised, ideologically blinded columns I’ve ever read in the Stater. The submissions by Teddy Harris (“Prostitution should be legalized”) and Don Norvell (“This is my land; that is your land”) together serve as the epitome of everything that is wrong with our super-polarized country.

The former writer seeks to solve the problems of STDs and over-populated prisons by legalizing prostitution, citing “rampant spreading of HIV/AIDS” as one of his main concerns. At the end of the column, however, he admits that, “according to the U.S. Department of Health, prostitution accounts for about 3 to 5 percent of sexually transmitted diseases. That is not much.” So, what have we learned here, class?

The answer: True liberalism takes a back seat to fanatical, misguided contradictions designed to somehow “jab” the political/ideological right for sending hookers to prison. Perhaps the STD/prostitution “crisis” of which Mr. Harris speaks (and the Department of Health refutes) could be solved by family planning and sex education or other crazy ideas like men finding women who will have sex with them for free. Or, at the very least, out of pity. Sometimes this works, trust me.

Mr. Norvell, on the other hand, offers up a plan to solve many of our nation’s problems: Send all the liberals to Europe, which is “overrun by socialism” and trade them for some of the “many freedom-loving people in other countries who ought to be here.” According to the author, these freedom-haters should subject themselves to “voluntary deportation” if they do not support the Second Amendment, dubbed the “insurance policy of the Bill of Rights.” I would think the insurance policy of the Bill of Rights would be more easily found in the First Amendment, which allows for the proliferation of free speech, even for gun-hating, freedom-hating, gay-loving liberals. It is this speech, the power of the press and the ability to “petition the government for a redress of grievances” that will forever be our true weapon against a possibly oppressive regime, not our AK-47s.

In short, both of these writers offer messages that are black eyes upon the ideological faces behind which they hide. All too often, these views are taken to be the true voice of the left or the right or, even worse, the true voice of the Democratic or Republican Parties. However, this is not the case. A very small number of liberals would want to legalize prostitution, and a very small number of conservatives cling so tightly to the Second Amendment and would support these “voluntary deportations.” It is no wonder that there is no room for debate and compromise in this country when we have grandstanding such as this, offered up for its shock value more than any policy deliberation. I seek no revolution, just an awakening of the moderates from both parties and ideologies to look through this far-right and far-left propaganda and view policy in terms of their personal convictions, not out of desire to establish “them” and “us” (or “my land” and “your land”).

The above guest column was submitted by Phil Eckenrode, senior political science major.