Go to content, skip over navigation

Sections

More Pages

Go to content, skip over visible header bar
Home News Features Arts & Entertainment Sports OpinionAbout Contact Advertise

Note about Unsupported Devices:

You seem to be browsing on a screen size, browser, or device that this website cannot support. Some things might look and act a little weird.

Do you believe your thoughts hold no ideological bias?

October 25, 2019

This piece represents the opinion of the author.
Sara Caplan

What should we think of Bowdoin over-emphasizing the need for reaching a common ground between different political sides? What should we think of Arthur Brooks—who works at a right-wing think tank—coming to campus in an attempt to mediate a discussion on love and solidarity and its importance in bridging the social and political gap? What the posters about him forgot to advertise is that his political views are far-right, nowhere even close to the ‘center’ for which he claims to be advocating. The presence of Arthur Brooks only reaffirms the status quo that dominates this campus—the empty promise of joining together across party lines and fighting for a more just world. Before raising our fists in agreement with that point of view, we need to think about what this fight entails. And how exactly are we planning to fight for that cause?

The language of solidarity earns us compassion and promises us a future based on values of cooperation and mutual understanding between the sides. We are told that the problems we are facing nowadays can only be solved if we bridge the division that exists in politics. It tells us that the left and the right should come together, even if the values that both of those sides stand for are different. And it is not just the values that are different, but also the methods through which they would like to accomplish their goals. If we are to assume that the empowerment of first-generation, low-income students is a problem that can be addressed by both the right and the left, we must ask ourselves: how would each of the side do it? Would they find a common solution, or would the right rather inspire low-income, first-generation students to aim to work at a morally-corrupt government surveillance agency, while the left might want to destroy the system that created the conditions of existence for the low-income students in the first place?

While those differences might be applicable in a political system where the right and the left are clearly divided, such as in some European countries (Spain: PSOE, Podemos—on the left—and Vox or PC—on the right), we cannot ignore that the ideological differences still play an important part in the differences between the parties. And those differences dictate our trains of thoughts and the way we look at issues if we decide to understand something as being an issue. The political opinion we adhere to gives us the tools and instruments that we use in order to work towards our goals.

Trying to bridge the differences that exist between the left and the right, with the aim of finding the common ground based on compassion, love and unity, we might just throw ourselves into the teeth of the wolves. This suicidal act will be applauded by the loud voices on the other side of the spectrum, that are waiting only for the right moment to crush us with their ideology and assure us that’s what middle ground looks like. Before we get our power to rise up again, we will be locked in a system, playing by the rules of those that called for the common ground.

But now, the call for the middle ground is louder than ever. With the rise of the alt-right, the neo-fascists in Europe and the neo-Nazi group that has entered the Greek Parliament, anxiety has begun to crawl into our hearts and minds. With further movement, either to the right or to the left, the American people feel more divided than ever.

It is scary indeed, and the call to reach beyond ideology is present at every step we make in this society. We are told to lay our ideas aside and join together to try to find solutions that are objectively beneficial to this society. I would love to ask that person that believes in objective action, to tell me the truth: do you actually believe your thoughts hold no ideological bias?

Radu Stochita is a member of the Class of 2022.

Advertisement

More from Opinion:

Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Catch up on the latest reports, stories and opinions about Bowdoin and Brunswick in your inbox. Always high-quality. Always free.

Comments

Before submitting a comment, please review our comment policy. Some key points from the policy:

  • No hate speech, profanity, disrespectful or threatening comments.
  • No personal attacks on reporters.
  • Comments must be under 200 words.
  • You are strongly encouraged to use a real name or identifier ("Class of '92").
  • Any comments made with an email address that does not belong to you will get removed.

2 comments:

  1. conservative dad says:

    Radhu,

    I am a conservative. I probably wouldn’t agree with 90% of what you believe. I acknowledge my ideological bias. But I don’t see you as the face of evil, like you appear to see me.

    The picture you paint of conservatives is a caricature. Have you ever actually sat down and spoken with someone who has different political beliefs than you? Conservatives don’t believe “working at a morally-corrupt government surveillance agency” is the way to help low-income, first-generation students. But we do believe that free markets and capitalism have helped more human beings escape poverty and prosper than any systems you are likely to espouse.

    I certainly don’t want “to crush you with my ideology”. Perhaps if you ever spoke to a conservative, you would find you agree on more than you think. If not, I hope we can agree on the rule of law and democracy to find some middle ground we can live with.

    Most of all, I hope you will relinquish the fear and hatred of “other” that I see in your writing.

    • Radu Stochita says:

      Conservative dad,

      We agree on problems, but we do not agree on ways of getting there. The point of the article is to say that while both The Right and The Left might identify a problem in society, this does not mean that they are immediately suitable to come together and solve it.

      I sat down with Conservatives and I still do whenever it occurs to me. The article is written also to challenge Brooks’ ideas of love and compassion, which make him sound so progressive and caring about the others. We need to differentiate that there are people that care for people and people that put a mask of caring for the others, while looking for profit.


Leave a Reply

Any comments that do not follow the policy will not be published.

0/200 words