Jessica Yager: Why moderates must find a way to unite politically on campus

Early in September I arrived as a freshman at GW, the most politically active school in the nation. Coming from a small public school in New Jersey, I expected to finally find an outlet for my political views. While I met some very interesting GW College Democrats and GW College Republicans (and actually became a paid member of both organizations), I did not quite fit into either group.

The GW College Democrats, for all their strong points, seem to end every argument by bashing the CRs and their viewpoints. As you could probably guess, the GW College Republicans, with all their strengths, quite frequently choose to do the same to the opinions of the CDs. If you have not experienced these meetings, trust me. If you share viewpoints from both sides you can feel pretty uncomfortable trapped within the heated arguments of these two organizations. I do not mean to insinuate that we as moderates always remain along the middle line, but people with split views care just as much about this country and its policies as those who follow party lines, and we deserve a say as well.

I am sure there are others just like me all around campus whose views cannot be limited to party values. Surprisingly enough, at such a politically active school there is no safe haven for moderates. It does not seem right that at a university that claims to be so open and politically active there is no moderate organization.

So what are we left to do? Just because we may not be polarized in our beliefs does not mean we should have to be politically inactive on campus, especially during this crucial time in the history of American politics. Some could say we have the best of both worlds – we can participate in events associated with both the conservatives and liberals.

To credit both student organizations on campus, we really are welcomed with open arms, and I am very thankful for that, but it is simply not enough. Moderates deserve more than to just be able to attend events hosted by both the CDs and the CRs. We deserve our own forum for political discussion and our own organization to rely on.

I know I am not alone in these feelings of isolation, but really, how are moderates to find one another on such a large and diverse campus? Let’s face it, it is hard for some people to openly discuss their opinions with those on either side of the political spectrum. In fact, while I was sitting in my hallway contemplating this issue, my neighbor inquired about it. I discovered another lonely moderate living only 100 feet from me and we did not even realize our commonality. The difficulty in uniting moderates is relatively simply – we all have different views so we cannot be united through similar viewpoints. Instead moderates must step past their political differences (which is not always as easy as it sounds) and unite purely as individuals.

Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem – create a new student group. There is definitely no better time than now with the 2008 election right around the corner to create a moderate organization here at GW.

Sure, there are not as many large-scale events that could be planned for moderates, certainly none to match those of the CDs or the CRs, but a moderate organization would play an even greater role on campus. It would afford a forum for discussion on the major issues confronting the nation and the world from a nonpartisan stand point providing all moderates, independent, and whoever else felt they needed an open forum with a place to talk, debate and meet others with similar viewpoints. After all, all anyone really wants is an opportunity to be heard.

The writer is a freshman majoring in political science and philosophy.

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