Fact – I do not consider myself a Republican. Fact – I do not consider myself a Democrat. I think, in fact, that I am one of the few people in the country over the age of 18 who actually does not know what party to vote for in the next election. As a result, I enjoy well-written, balanced opinion pieces. “GOP Corruption Threatens the Nation” by Andrew McGaffey was not one of those pieces. It was the kind of article that sometimes makes me want to stop searching for my actual political mindset and just become a Republican.

The article was a pointless diatribe against Republican leadership, accusing it of massive corruption on account of its many scandals over the years. While it may be true that Republican leaders have been responsible for more acts of dishonesty over the years than Democrats, any student of American politics will surely know that the industry – across both parties – is almost a breeding ground for scandal. The news is filled with stories of campaign finance embezzling, bribery and even a few extra-marital affairs. McGaffey chooses to gloss over the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal because he was impeached by a partisan lynch mob. However true this may be, impeachment is not a measure of a politician’s honesty. For example, Reagan was not impeached, and his administration was, as the article reminds us, wrought with scandal as well. This is America. Let’s at least hold everyone to the same standard of judging. Let’s also not forget that before Monica Lewinsky, Clinton was not exactly innocent. He was investigated for taking funds from an Arkansas bank during his campaign for governor as well as for other suspicious financial dealings pertaining to his Whitewater Development Corporation. He was not impeached for these dealings either. Does that make him more honest than Reagan?

If anyone wants any more examples of a Democratic scandal, they need not look any further than John F. Kennedy, who only won the 1960 presidential election after dead men voted for him. He then had multiple extra-marital affairs. While his elevated status has pushed these things out of collective memory, he was anything but honest. And then there’s his younger brother Edward who drove – while intoxicated – off a bridge and left a young woman for dead.

But that’s not even the point. If you’re going to criticize the Republican Party, criticize them. If you’re going to criticize the Democratic Party, criticize them. Just please criticize them about something worth criticizing. Accusing the Republicans of being corrupt and selfish does nothing. It doesn’t stop the war in Iraq, it doesn’t impeach Bush, it doesn’t get rid of Cheney – it doesn’t accomplish anything that many liberals wish to see accomplished today. Attacks with little substance and lots of rants just make it easy for people like me to become turned off by the Democratic Party. The public needs balanced sources of real information in order to make decisions, not a litany of unsupported opinions and criticisms. If liberals today want to accomplish anything, they need to start figuring out ways to change policies instead of just attacking the people behind them.

-LOUISA SLOCUM Class of 2008

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