Sliding Right

As a Jew born at Einstein Hospital in North Philadelphia, raised in Germantown and East Falls, two distinctly different neighborhoods, one being predominantly Irish Catholic and the other Black-American I grew up open minded, having ‘liberal’ views of the city, the nation and the world. In other words, I accepted people for who they were and did not try to put myself above anyone no matter their beliefs, sexual persuasions or economic status.

Although UVM was not my first choice due to lack of diversity, it was an attractive place because of the mountains and a student body who embodied the ‘liberal’ or ‘leftist’ sentiment I felt most comfortable being around. But as time passes, I have increasingly found myself turned off by these so-called liberals and their rampant hypocrisies. The more time I spend in Vermont, the more I find myself sliding politically to the right.

Daniel Flynn, brought to UVM by the College Republicans, explained my feelings very well when he said people are too often fooled by ideologies and this makes smart people stupid. Although Flynn’s argument was only aimed at ‘liberals,’ it of course applies to himself and anyone who professes and sponsors certain ideologies.

Strong ideology is a stronger turn off. It forces people to ignore facts and avoid questioning their own practices. In essence it is an all-encompassing label that covers/hides the truth as well as the abundant hypocrisies existing in their professors. If I went to a school that was predominantly conservative, I would have remained steadfast in my ‘liberal’ views, but I don’t. I go to UVM, the crunchiest, most environmentalist, headiest campus I know of, except maybe Colorado College. Surrounded by voices of ideological nincompoops it has been difficult to keep my ‘liberal’ views.

Ideology is not convincing. People won campus who use it to explain their arguments fail every time. Unfortunately this is the norm.

Occasionally you’ll bump into a liberal who actually knows what they are talking about but for the most part this does not happen. Generally people quote Michael Moore or something they ‘heard,’ but rarely facts. Let’s get one thing straight right now; Michael Moore did make some good movies that exposed realities existing in the US. Fahrenheit 9-11 was not one of these movies. Instead it was ideological masturbation filled with falsities that people still believe are true.

Being in Vermont has done a great job teaching me that liberals are hypocrites, that democrats do as much harm as good and that it is easy to point out several inconsistencies in the beliefs professed by liberals and the way in which they live. Has anyone else noticed that the students whose parents are CEO’s, corporate lawyers and large business owners are the farthest to the left?

It is real easy to be a socialist or environmentalist when you don’t have to worry about providing yourself with food, clothing, housing or most healthcare. A much smarter man than me once said, “The life unexamined is not worth living.” Of course, this does not mean that ‘liberals’ should renounce the wealth their parents worked hard for, it means don’t take it for granted and look down on people who realize the importance of making a living, appearing successful and living a life that is at least truthful.

Every moment spent here pushes me farther right, but please don’t misunderstand me. I do believe in things like social justice, environmental concerns and ending the unnecessary uses of our armed forces. People at UVM to often assume that they are right and use ideology as a defense rather than facts.

Take a look at this week’s Op-Eds on pages six and seven. On page seven there is a conservative freshman (who does have more space than the other two combined) that lays down a very good argument in defense of Gonzalez and he defines terms, offers counter arguments and in general is very organized. On the opposing left page there are blanket statements, incorrect historical information and generally tons of blatant ideological references. Generally on campus the Conservatives know the facts and the Liberals know the catch phrases of ideology. Those on the left know and those on the left blame.

I would never say normally that I side with a Republican’s viewpoints over a Democrat’s unless i was in Vermont where being a Democrat is way too easy.