Opinion: Still not getting it

Online Poster

Online Poster

By Chuck Prochaska

After reading campus reaction to my post-election column on Nov. 18, I felt like landing an F-15 on the Quad and giving a speech on the steps of Foellinger in front of a huge “Mission Accomplished” banner. Not only did I make my point, but each angry letter helped confirm it.

In all honesty, I’d like to address some problems I had with readers making grand assumptions about my politics and about my character:

I am not a bigot – Just because I don’t accept same-sex marriage and homosexuality doesn’t mean I won’t tolerate it. There is a vast difference between the two. Don’t any of you watch South Park?

I am not a racist – I voted for President Bush and his racially diverse cabinet, remember? If there’s any party that doesn’t like minorities, it’s the Democrats, some of whom have referred to Condoleeza Rice as “Oreo” and “Aunt Jemima.”

I am not a neo-conservative – I’ll miss Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz kind of scares me. But because of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, I will support an administration with a few neo-conservative Republicans over a pacifist one any day of the week.

I am Christian, but far from being an evangelical. I also am Catholic, but I wasn’t one of those “Kerry isn’t a real Catholic” voters. I’m not a perfect Christian – but I know enough to know there’s no such thing. It frightens me a little that my party had to rely on Christian fundamentalists to win this election – and that they have that much influence – but I am confident it mainly will be used to block same-sex marriage rather than to further an anti-abortion agenda.

I am not a hallucinating schizophrenic – Just like Sen. John Kerry, “I have had one consistent message throughout this entire campaign.” Enough said. All of these accusations can fit into the charge of “politically incorrect.” However, the days of political correctness in the United States – and throughout most of the world – are on their way out. Take the Netherlands, for example. Two weeks ago, Theo van Gogh, great-nephew of Vincent van Gogh, was brutally murdered by an Islamic militant for producing a documentary on violence against women within Islam.

This incident has woken the Dutch, a leftist and “tolerant” people, to the horrific reality that is Islamic terrorism. In Time magazine, one Dutch parliamentarian noted that the incident was a result of the country being “politically correct for too long” and accepting radical Islam as it festered in their communities. If political incorrectness is a crime, slap the cuffs on and haul me to the Big House.

However, the theme in all of the letters to the editor proved that, at least on our campus, Democrats still aren’t getting it. I said that normal Americans don’t appreciate being demeaned and looked down upon by the “cultural elite.” Yet, Ph.D. students slapped my wrist and said I got the facts wrong. Reform Christians told me I didn’t understand Jesus’ teachings. Engineering majors told me I don’t know U.S. politics! They justified their accusations using arguments formed by Hollywood elites, telling me I wasn’t smart enough to see past President Bush’s smirk.

To that end, I feel like the dorky kid in A Christmas Story who finally beats up the red-headed bully. The Democrats tried to bully and push and shove the United States into submission by telling Bush supporters how stupid they were in 2000 – and that Democrats really knew what was best for the country in 2004. But people got sick of it and re-elected the man who always has been optimistic and hopeful. The liberal “elite” can continue to run their mouths about how stupid conservatives are, but as long as those kinds of liberals run the Democratic Party, voters will stick with the GOP.

Chuck Prochaska is a sophomore in LAS. Adam Zmick and he will return next Monday for the point/counterpoint forum. He can be reached at [email protected]