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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

The BLCU projects the wrong image

Published: September 9, 2011
Section: Opinions

This past Monday at the activities fair, I made sure to at least glance at every one of the nearly 100 clubs that were advertising themselves. While most of the clubs advertised themselves in a professional and thoughtful manner, the Brandeis Libertarian-Conservative Union—sometimes known as the College Republicans—did not comport themselves in the same manner. Sitting in the middle of their table was an image of the president of the United States, Barack Obama, urinating on America. The image was not only offensive, it also projected an image of a club that is shrill in nature and that resorts to crude imagery, instead of persuasive arguments, to attack the president of the United States.

As a political moderate who is tired of the extreme partisanship that happens daily in Washington, D.C., it was disappointing to see one of Brandeis’ political clubs resort to the damaging tactics employed by left-wing blogs and conservative talk radio to get their point across. It was puzzling that the Brandeis Libertarian-Conservative Union did not instead post an image of the growth of the debt under Obama or use some other statistics about the size of government to get their point across. Perhaps by next semester they will have understood the folly of using such imagery and understand that if they want people to take their club seriously, as well as not alienate moderates such as myself, they will refrain from such tactics.

While the Brandeis Libertarian-Conservative Union embarrassed themselves this year at the Activities Fair, at least they can take solace in the fact that they are not the only political club on campus to act foolishly. Last year, I attended the first ’Deis Dems meeting, where I expressed my politically moderate viewpoint during a discussion about political leaders. While most of the club respected my different point of view, I was approached at the end of the meeting by one of the members who told me I should not attend another meeting because I didn’t agree with their ideology. Since I was made to feel so unwelcome, I decided not to go to another meeting. It was probably a good thing too because I am one of those people who voted for President Obama in 2008, and then turned around and voted for the Republicans in 2010.

The United States needs leaders who get things done and realize that no ideology holds all the answers. Our parents’ generation, the Boomers, have proven that they are still fighting the same ideological battles of the Vietnam War 40 years later. They have decided to take their moral crusades to the halls of Congress, which has damaged our institutions and turned politics into a sport where winning is all that matters. That whole idea of going to Congress and legislating in the best interest of the country is lost on the current generation of politicians. Instead, they resort to attacking the other side as evil, unpatriotic or Nazis in disguise. Hopefully, when our generation is walking the halls of Congress 30 years from now, compromise will no longer be considered a dirty word, nor will we see portrayals of the president of the United States as unpatriotic, for such actions are beneath us as Americans.