Mark Ferguson: Welcome to the home of one-upsmanship

As fall approaches, GW will once again be split down the middle … twice. The greatest rivalry in sports plays out on the baseball field while an even bigger rivalry plays out in politics. Whether you’re a Democratic Yankees fan or a Republican Red Sox fan, it’s certain you’ll be hugging and celebrating the walk-off homerun one night with the same person you’ll be yelling and throwing punches at the next.

Yes, it’s a magical time of year when you can see the pundits dance in a circle as they try to line with their sides when the conversation changes. Democrats’ come back win in 2006 – step forward and turn left. Morning after pill now available without a prescription – step back turn right. Personally, I like to walk into these situations and jump topics every few sentences just to keep the waltz-like maneuvers going strong. Kerry, 2, 3, 4; Jeter, 2, 3, 4; Iraq, 2, 3, 4.

But what else would you expect from a college where kids organize beer pong tournaments on their blackberries and wear suits to 8 a.m. classes for no reason? Although it’s what has become expected from the denizens of this school, we all need to make an effort to chill out this year and stop being so contentious.

For many students, GW is the minor leagues for government service, and so many people are trying to prove their muster and get called up to the big leagues. So in this bureaucracy farm team, what better way to show your superstar capabilities than to have a loud, unflinching opinion on anything and everything?

You don’t think you’re right, you know you’re right and no one else should speak unless they agree with you. And if someone does dare to disagree, you’ve got three hours cleared into your schedule to spend not saying anything substantial before adjusting your tie and informing the idiot you have a meeting that can’t be missed.

The latest student group – Students Against the War but Support our Troops and the Ideology of Democracy Just Not When Brought About by the Use of Force Except when Aggression Has Occurred as was The Case in Germany and Japan in World War Two – won’t plan that march without you there to waste time arguing over what should be done to increase morale among those stationed in the Middle East. It’s honestly quite sickening, and I would have no problem if we could do away with this competitive nonsense this year.

For these people, they feel as if they get extra points by rolling their eyes and feigning annoyance when the war is mentioned. This is a great reason to have the same argument every day – so you can refine it into such a perfect example of oration you’ll have corporate donors lined up outside your dorm room.

A perfect debate on the Iraq War is a monologue starring you. The second any Middle East issue is brought up, let everyone within a two-block radius know how tired you are about discussing Iraq. Then feel free to explain to them what your personal take is on the whole situation. If they cut you off and say they’ve heard your views before, get angry, squint harder and shake your fists in disgust. If your exasperated sighs and constant head shaking doesn’t cow them into submission, throw your arms up in the air with a look of disgust on your face. The quick turnaround from boredom to obsessive intensity will show the government scouts that you already know everything about the issue and only share your knowledge with the masses as a sort of noble public service.

The best part about a vast number of GW students is how certain they are that they’re going to make a difference. If you are part of the 90 percent of students interested in holding public office someday, then feel free to assume that I’m mocking everyone but you, because you’re special and have what it takes. If you’re not, just keep in mind that I’m tired of dealing with you and your boasting. Instead of talking about your internship on the Hill, let’s try to enjoy some meaningful conversation. Why not talk about movies or music or sports – something, anything, that normal kids would want to discuss about it. GW has always been the political wasteland, but it doesn’t have to be. This year, everyone just needs to chill.

-The writer is a senior majoring in political science.

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