Jabs from the Left

Yes, I am a conservative. I love George W. Bush, loathe abortion, and find many government programs wasteful and useless. But I love Britney Spears, hate the death penalty, and find the idea of a flat tax unreasonable and selfish. So why has my name appeared in the Features section several times over the past few issues? Why am I heralded as some right-wing extremist? Don’t get me wrong; I’m not complaining. I understand expressing my unpopular opinions, verbally and in this paper, can warrant criticism and jest. Most of the time, I laugh at what is said. But the appearance of Andover’s lack of conservatism, and the reality that the Features section turns to my name when poking fun at extreme conservatism, leaves me with the question: Is this a mere result of Andover’s liberality or that of a greater American pop culture? One can argue that Andover is a liberal school, a characteristic that at times is beneficial to the student body and its education. Other times, I feel that while our school is an environment that preaches tolerance and diversity, there is little room for the conservative opinion. But more, for those of undiscerning political minds (those with no interest or solid beliefs as of yet), it seems as if Andover students are bred liberal. When the overwhelming majority of our student body and faculty gives a standing ovation to a man who declares, “war makes things worse,” it seems as if those who cannot even name legitimate reasons to go to war are compelled to stand. From the numerous All-School Meetings, the idea that peace is the absence of war (even if thousands, sometimes, millions of people are being slaughtered or oppressed at the time…) has been drilled into our brains. While Andover students are required to sit through hours of lectures and discussions on Martin Luther King, Jr. day, not a single second is required to commemorate the veterans in November. What message can a student deduce from this? And this seems to be the truth with America as well. After spending thousands of hours exposed to televisions and newspapers, how can undiscerning Americans be anything but liberal? This is not to say all liberals don’t put substantial thought into their opinions, but it seems that those Americans—as well as Andover students—who do not hold strong political beliefs (or any at all) once exposed to the media, or in Andover’s case our myriad of All-School Meetings and events, cannot help but think as a liberal. I love this school and this country; I think they are the best this world has to offer. But since the country and school’s center has appeared to have shifted left because of the overwhelming number of liberal ideas concealed as fact or absolute truth, I am labeled as ultra-conservative. But I’m not.