Columnist turns liberal
Matthew E. Caster
As designed, my column from last week ("Democrats
grasping at straws," Wednesday) attracted a great deal of hate mail from
campus. From these letters, I realized
that perhaps I am as biased as CNN, only in the other direction. Perhaps
I should examine "the other side."
As I awoke Monday morning, I decided that
for a day, I would become a liberal. It was time for me to see what was
so appealing about the left with
my own eyes. Consequentially, instead
of putting on my normal conservative eyeglasses (the ones with lenses),
I put on my liberal eyeglasses
(the ones with no lenses). Everything
became clear, and temporarily, at least, I became liberal.
Over the course of the day, I wrote down
everything I believed in as a liberal, wanting to remember exactly what
I was thinking as I examined
every issue which, as a former conservative,
I had felt passionately about. Finally, by 6:00 that evening, I felt my
goal had been properly
achieved, so I put on my conservative
glasses and stared in shocked amazement at what I had written. What follows
is a transcript of my baptism
"When I am overcharged for a purchase,
I feel cheated. When I am overcharged by the government, I do not. Higher
taxes aren't so bad because
the government needs that money to operate
solid, efficient programs like Medicare and welfare. They are good for
the economy because they
give the government more money to spend.
"Really, the economy is the most important
aspect of American life.
"As long as my current economic status
is acceptable, the actions of people in Washington are of less concern
to me. How dare those
conservatives question the personal life
of Bill Clinton, under the presumption of perjury? Oral sex is not sex,
after all. How could anyone think
"In trying times such as these, however,
I am suspicious of my elected leaders. President Bush sure took a lot of
money from Enron for his 2000
campaign, so there's got to be some connection
between his election and Enron's collapse. He should be closely scrutinized
for taking such
large donations from a huge company in
his home state.
"This whole War on Terror is overrated.
I mean, they wouldn't dare hit us again. Thank goodness the airport security
screeners are going to be
federal employees, just like those friendly,
competent, motivated workers at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
"People don't kill people. Guns kill people.
People should not be tried for crimes their guns have committed.
"In trying economic times, the most important
thing to take care of is the unemployed worker. Instead of trying to encourage
employers to hire
more employees, we should encourage the
unemployed to remain that way until their ideal job comes along. Their
benefits should last at least a
year, if not more, so they can get out
there and actively search for the perfect job.
"Even with a modest income from the government,
these workers are eager and willing to get a job, and should be given plenty
of time to find the
right one. No one would accept free money
from the government if they could be working for a living.
"Someday, I want my children to receive
an education based on what bureaucrats in Washington think they should
"Local parents, teachers, and school administrators
are not elected officials, and don't need to have any input on what is
taught or how it is taught.
After all, parents don't raise children;
villages raise children.
"Many years ago, people with my color of
skin mistreated a lot of other people with different skin colors. We need
to make it up to them. I have no
problem with giving up my job someday
so that someone with a different skin color can have it, even if he's not
as qualified as I am. After all, there
are lots of other jobs out there, and
I've got plenty of time to find one."
I think I'll stick with conservatism. God
Caster, a senior chemical engineering
major, can be reached at email@example.com.