First off, I would like to apologize to Ms. Chiappe. If the anger I felt reading her response to me is any indication, what I said implied something that I didn’t mean. There’s a lot in her article to cover, so if I miss something, know that it was only for lack of space.
I would like to start this apology off by acknowledging what she pointed out; that the “Bringing Bias to Class” article was written by a Mustang Daily correspondent. As such, the conservative columnists don’t deserve the blame I gave them for that article (although I enjoy Ms. Gellman’s articles, I found this one to be lacking not due to writing but poor choice of topic).
Even Ms. Chiappe’s article wasn’t very heavy on the “poor me” feeling; I was primarily referring to the article “How I joined the Dark Side,” which feeds into a general siege mentality that I get when I listen to conservative news, the feeling of always being under attack.
Relating to my “schizoid” comment, I was not referring to the five different columnists. I enjoy that; it broadens the views expressed in that section of the paper (I’m glad the liberal side has also added a second columnist). I was referring to the dichotomy between the “siege mentality” I felt from “How I joined the Dark Side” and the vicious sense not long ago in “Wanted: Rational, Reasoned, Logical Liberal” (by the same author).
My writing about the conservative column is actually because it’s one of the parts of the paper I care the most about. The conservative column is the part of the paper that exposes me to opinions that I can’t generate in my own head. The reason I write so many complaints isn’t because I disagree with the opinions expressed (I actually welcome that), but because I feel the conservative arguments in the paper are poorly developed in a persuasive sense. When I have conservative friends who tell me that they are embarrassed to be associated with the argumentative style put forward in the part of the paper they agree with, I feel there is something wrong with it.
Anyway, since I don’t want this article to be entirely negative, I’d like to mention some thing about the conservative side of the opinion page I do enjoy. I enjoy the opportunity every week to read the opinions of people who I generally don’t agree with; it gives me the chance to broaden my horizons beyond my standard “liberal” opinions. I also very much enjoyed Mr. Eller’s most recent column, “Support Poly Professors First.” I found it to be well-thought out and researched and put forward a persuasive argument for the conservative viewpoint on the matter regarding Poly’s proposed professor exchange with Jubail University.
I hope to read many more good conservative articles in the time I have left at Cal Poly. After all, as Pat Paulsen said, “Assuming either the Left Wing or the Right Wing gained control of the country, it would probably fly around in circles.”
Troy Kuersten is an aerospace engineering and physics senior and a Mustang Daily guest columnist.