The two guests I look forward to seeing above all others this Meliora Weekend are James Carville and Mary Matalin, not only for the insights they’ll provide on the upcoming election, but also for the example that they set as a political couple with opposing beliefs. Their marriage has endured one of the most intensely partisan periods in our nation’s history. From the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton until today, our nation has become increasingly divided between red and blue states, with a political climate that can be described as polarized at best and destructive toward democracy at worst. Not even the tragedy of September 11 was able to quell these partisan flames for long.The blame for this does not only fall on the shoulders of Clinton, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, President George W. Bush and Vermont Governor Howard Dean, although they have all contributed to the problem. Political comedians like Al Franken on the left and Dennis Miller on the right have also helped polarize our country, but again, they can’t take all the blame for this growing problem.These politicians, comedians and TV and radio personalities are merely giving us what we want to hear. Over the past 25 years, we’ve decided it’s easier to demonize your opponents than to understand them. Why should a Republican listen to what the Democrats have to say when liberals are terrorist coddling, godless, tax and spend cowards? And why should a Democrat try to understand a Republican when conservatives are war-mongering, heartless fascists waiting to take over the country? And so, we isolate ourselves from our opponents, we only talk politics with those who agree with us, we attend protests that the other side ignores or hold bake sales that convince no one.Rational political discussion is non-existent in our country – the closest we come is watching conservatives beat up on liberal guests on Fox News, or Michael Moore harassing an aging Hollywood actor with Alzheimer’s disease in “Bowling for Columbine.”Yet maybe as the generation that is poised to inherit this mess, we can learn something from this weekend. By going to watch a married couple with vastly different political views debate the upcoming election, we may be able to understand how two people who have devoted their lives to opposing political parties have also managed to devote their lives to one another. Maybe we’ll come away from the experience with the knowledge that two people can disagree passionately with one another, but not believe that the other is evil or without a valuable opinion.Hopefully, we can all learn a great deal from Carville and Matalin, and take those lessons with us as we debate political issues until the election.Nabozny can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graduate Student Collective voices financial grievances in town hall
On Tuesday Feb. 21, over 50 graduate students from across the University filled the Humanities Center for a town hall…
Yellowjackets’ Winter Roundup
In the next few weeks, our athletic teams will take field, let’s examine how the Yellowjackets fared towards the end of the winter season.