Wednesday, January 23, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 77



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 liberals on
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
into liberalism:

"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 learn. 

"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 bless America.

Caster, a senior chemical engineering 
major, can be reached at

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