College Democrats and Republicans can get along…if they debate

College Democrats and Republicans can get along...if they debate

by Emili JohnsonStaff Writer

There are some things in life we will just never understand. For example, why is it that you have all your tests and papers due on the same day, or when you are tired, you can’t sleep? These things happen to everyone and have truly become unknown wonders of the world.

One thing I never really understood is why there is so much hatred and hostility between Democrats and Republicans, especially here on the Simpson campus. Whether or not you think Simpson is mostly liberal or mostly conservative, we are always hearing both sides of the political spectrum voice their opinions of the everyday issues that plague our society.

I, myself, just happen to be an African American feminist who affiliates with the Democratic Party, but this does not mean that I am not open to conservative views and opinions. I think that everyone has the right to believe in what they want to believe and so on and so forth. But, I wanted to understand the relationship between Democrats and Republicans on campus and really get their true feelings on each other, as well as themselves.

I would have to say that I was thoroughly excited to sit down and chat with College Republican President DOGRADE Jacob Doering. The management major had some very interesting things to say about his conservative beliefs and is actually a registered Independent, not a Republican.

“I just think there needs to be an opposing voice on a campus like this,” Doering said. “You’ve got predominately liberal professors, predominately liberal students and you’ve got media outlets that are predominately liberal and there’s very little voice from the conservative side of issues.”

Doering believes it is important to get both sides of the issues out, rather than just looking at one side and thinking it is automatically right.

I would have to agree; I think when you know both sides of the issue, you have a chance to clearly define your principles and stance on the issue at hand.

As for the relationship between the two groups, Doering thinks there is little to no hostility between the two.

“I don’t have any hatred towards them,” Doering said. “I disagree probably with most of the members of the group as a whole, but I think there are some things that we can come together on, too.”

Senior Nathan Arentsen, president of College Democrats, was at first unsure of which political party he wanted to be a part of. Since both of his parents were public servants to the government, this in some ways shaped his political views as he got older.

“I was growing up on an Indian reservation for a time, and I saw a very different perspective from what many people saw in the country,” Arentsen said. “What government does for people has really showed me that democratic politics and progressive pressure can do a lot to improve people’s lives.”

An optimistic Arentsen, who will be graduating this May, hopes that one day the College Republicans and Democrats can meet on some type of common ground through positive cooperation.

“There are issues that we can both work together on, but instead, we just don’t reach out to each other,” Arentsen said.

Both Arentsen and Doering feel that a political debate between the two groups would be successful in elevating some tension, and it is something the campus would be interested in seeing.

“If a debate intended to find out what we can do to help America, then yeah, I am open to that,” Arentsen said.

Doering thinks that a debate would answer some questions he has for the group including issues such as the war in Iraq as well as expressing his views of the feminist movement.

“At least (a debate) would give us an opportunity to understand where each other are coming from,” Doering said.

The question of whether or not these two groups can or cannot get along is still up in the air, but I think for the most part, an understanding of both groups is made clear and a debate might create some common ground. Regardless, these two groups are strong in their political values, and it is obvious that they are not going to agree on certain issues. This does not mean these groups can’t get together for the common good of the people and put their political views to the side.

So, maybe if these two groups agreed to disagree, there would not be so much hostility between the two. I personally would like to see the Democrats and Republicans on campus debate, and hopefully, both sides would not only see the other’s perspective, but also understand and take it into account.