TO THE EDITOR:
Sam Perkins (“Can I get some climate change?” Sept. 15) wrote that an on-campus clash of political opposites like Keith Olbermann and Glenn Beck would refresh the political climate at UNC. I doubt it.
Watching a debate between people set in their ways is like capturing a reflection of the very “stagnant cesspool for political thought” that Perkins laments. What’s interesting about listening to lone speakers is that you learn about their worldview and follow their reasoning from beginning to end.
When Karl Rove comes, for example, students can come and discard their preconceptions and evaluate his ideas in the conservative context he’ll provide. This context is valuable because it allows students to see how a successful strategist on one side of the political spectrum thinks. It’ll be a much more useful occasion than a shout-out between two TV hosts.
But we don’t have to rely on speakers to bring us out of the stagnant political climate. We can engage in real discourse by letting go of our preconceptions and discussing issues on the merits instead of disparaging whole categories of political stances with the paintbrush of prejudice.
The first item of prejudice that we drain from the cesspool should be the author’s own false claim that political conservatism, which is about liberty, opportunity and equality under the law, means “homosexuals and minorities get harassed in conservative parts of the country.”
Peace, War, and Defense