My very first Denisonian article I wrote came in the fall of 2016, and was about conservative suppression of thought in social media platforms. Since then, I have written a lot and had the privilege of being the opinion editor this past year. In doing so, I’ve changed a lot. My once strongly held views no longer seem as appealing to me and it’s partially because of you, the Denison student body. Your submissions truly opened my mind up to much broader thinking and I want to thank you. The passion behind these unique and brilliant viewpoints, have had a huge effect on me.

Since coming onto The Denisonian, I have become much less of a Republican and much more of a Libertarian. I think that it’s healthy to be open about changing beliefs, because all that people do in today’s society is reiterate talking points from the media. The amount of Democrats that spout off hateful rhetoric about the Trump administration, I heard word for word the night before on CNN. The Republicans who praise the President use phrases and points that Fox used just hours prior. This isn’t what we as a liberal arts college are supposed to do. We have become so ingrained in what the leaders we follow say that we have in a sense lost sight of what we truly believe. I fell into this same trap in 2016. I believed the Trumpian policies would be good for the country. Why? Because Fox News argued so. However, looking back it’s simply immature and wrong to think that way.

Democrats are just as guilty of this as well. Donald Trump is not a terrible human being yet Democrats utilize the media’s portrayal of him to make him seem like the antichrist. I don’t agree with the rhetoric by any means and have been open about my dissatisfaction of the president. However, this is due to policy, not the media portrayal of him. Democrats will continue to lose in every major election and continue to become a laughing stock of the country if they continue to just follow this simple-minded way of thinking. For the party of inclusivity, they are narrow minded and refuse to accept outside perspectives that are not their own and throw around -isms to incite backlash towards opposing viewpoints.

Republicans, while biased, are also at fault. Republicans choose to forget or disregard blatantly wrong statements that the President and his administration say and do and follow him and support him through everything, though his policies are not indicative of the true Republican policy – they’re more liberal leaning. Republicans will continue to be shunned as the party of bigotry until they finally stand up for what’s right and don’t follow blindly a RINO leader (Republican in name only).

Ultimately, being the opinion editor has shown me a lot. It has shown me the flaws in our thought. It shown me the importance of taking time to learn about the issues. Most importantly, it has shown me the importance of having an open mind. If we want our country to prosper and move forward, listen to one another and don’t assume you’re right about everything, especially by simply reciting media talking points. It shows an edge of ignorance and immaturity, and will never lead to a productive conversation. I urge all of you on campus, please take some time to just read about the issues, make your own opinions, and do not blindly follow the media, who is relying on this groupthink phenomenon to get rich off of our ignorance.

Wake up America, it’s time to move forward.