Feb. 25, 2015
When I got to college, I had a pretty narrow mindset on what I thought was right and wrong. My political views were not just my personal views. I wore them on my chest and refused to see another side.
I grew as a person the day I started asking questions. Maybe it was the journalist in me attempting to see every side of the story, but I became a better listener and writer for it.
I never thought there would be a day where I questioned my father’s political beliefs, but it happened. I never thought there would be a day where I attended a rally for Gov. Scott Walker and five hours later, a rally for the Democratic candidate for governor, but it happened. These things happened because I challenged myself to see another viewpoint.
So why are news outlets like Fox News and the Washington Times attacking Dr. Beth Lueck, a professor of English at UW-Whitewater, who challenged students to attend a non-partisan rally for extra credit? The same reason they always do. Lueck isn’t just a professor of English, she’s a [drum roll] Democrat!
Forget that Lueck offers extra credit for students to go to all events on campus. Forget she told her students they didn’t have to protest or interact. Forget she told students they could counter-protest. Lueck has a giant “Democrat” target on her forehead and it will never wash off.
Instead of news outlets berating Lueck for her attempt to make civically engaged students, they should be praising her. This trivial reporting to shame the other side of the political aisle needs to end.
Sure, she had to hold the hand of students and walk them into the line of fire by offering extra credit, but not everyone has the same initiative to be civically engaged. Some students don’t know what a political rally is or even who their representatives are, and that’s what really should be reported on. No one should fear public humiliation by media for going to a rally.
I don’t care if you vote Democrat, Republican or the United States Pirate Party, a politically engaged citizen is a politically engaged citizen.