I am writing in response to an article published in the Oct. 7 issue of the Gustavian Weekly. I know this is belated, but I find the issue still pertinent.
I took great issue with Drew Ajer’s article “Why Gustavus Hates Conservatives.” Now, to be clear, I am not a Republican. I do hold some right wing views but by and large I am more liberal than conservative. Nonetheless, I found the article to be unnecessary and mean-spirited.
Ajer criticizes the Republicans for bringing the universal contempt of Gustavus upon themselves. He says that they “[forget] about civil discourse.” This seemed a tad ironic to me. Instead of encouraging civil discourse himself, Ajer has become the voice of irrationality and partisanship. His article cannot count as a “real discussion,” as he calls it, if the basis of his article is that Republicans are so bad they bring hate upon themselves. No matter what Republicans have said in the past, it gives Ajer no excuse to generalize and discredit the opinions of many right-wing Gusties. Had Ajer written an opinion piece that addressed Republicans’ positions and argued for alternatives, I would take no issue.
However, Ajer seems to be emblematic of a more general problem: there is no conservative, or by my estimate, moderate political opinion writer on your staff. Even Kristina Ericksen makes a passing comment in her article “Hot n’ loose” from the Oct. 14 issue that I find quite telling: “[the] Gustavus college experience, comprised of collective, tolerant, left-minders.” Ericksen does not even acknowledge Republicans on campus; it as if their opinions are irrelevant to the entire student body. That issue did have a cover article on Steven Crowder’s performance, but you did not say what exact political positions he took and most of the article was about the controversy over Crowder’s act.
If we truly support tolerance and free speech, let us encourage writers with different political ideologies speak their minds. I am sure that I am not alone in wishing to hear other voices for a change. Please, find an alternative voice for the Weekly, someone who does not fit into the normal liberal mold of the opinion writers. This would add life, diversity and political debate to the publication. This nation was founded through open and honest debate aided through the use of free and uncensored newspapers; should we not honor this democratic tradition at Gustavus?
History & Scandinavian