Talking to a socialist

I’m loving IU, but this place is a far cry from Nappanee, Ind.
We thought it was fairly radical when students at my high school were actually supporting Barack Obama, and even crazier when our Republican incumbent had a tight race on his hands to keep his seat in the House. The comfortable ideological spectrum back home is about the size of my pinky.
So suffice it to say that IU is quite the change of pace. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a very good thing. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I chose IU.
As a moderate, I used to get excited back home when someone tried to debate with me on the merits of the stimulus package or the war in Iraq, and it would usually turn out that we really didn’t disagree on too much in the end. That’s not the case here.
Talk all you want about the fairly small scope of political ideology in America, but it’s certainly bigger here than anywhere else I’ve been.
I got into a discussion with a true socialist the other day. He probably knew more about the system than I know about capitalism and the American system, and he presented his points extremely well.
I still cringe at the thought, but just the fact that the discussion took place was incredible to me.
This is what I love about the university system. I could’ve gone to any number of small, liberal arts colleges where I’m sure my ideas would have been challenged, but I’m not so sure my perceptions would have been changed as they have been here. Even though my socialist friend couldn’t convince me he was right, he did convince me that he knew what he was talking about. That’s the beauty of this place; not only can you find a group of like-minded people to fit in with no matter what your interests are, but you can talk to people on the complete opposite end as you – and learn so much more about the world in the process.

Jordan Weyenberg
IU freshman

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