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Ignorant bliss to enlightened ideologies

By Elisabeth Turner, Columnist

  This past Thursday, March 15, Timothy Groseclose Professor of American politics at the University of California Los Angeles, came to Hofstra to speak about an issue tpesrd which much of society seems to turn a blind eye.  According to Groseclose, the liberal bias of the media is shaping American thought without the masses' realization. In a mere hour and ten minutes, Groseclose disclosed the mechanics of his book, entitled Left Turn, and how to calculate what he refers to as one's political quotient how far liberal any individual or politician tends to lean in his or her views.

Then one man raised his hand, and when called upon asked a simple question underlying everyone else's.

  The question was the monosyllabic, 'Why.' Groseclose had pointed out the media's liberal slant, along with a series of statistics supporting his belief that this slant is actually causing the public's views to lean to the left as well. He also stated that the problem is not necessarily in the portrayal of the facts, but in the actual facts chosen to be reported, the actual information which is disseminated to the public.  

  Obviously, the question "why" is broad; there are no simple, unambiguous answers. In his response, Groseclose stated that, "it's something in their [liberals] DNA." He suggested that there is an element within creative people that predisposes them to more liberal views.

  Yet, the question of "why" resonates on a deeper level than merely that of media personnel and their opinions. Why, for example, did we university students, as young and restless adolescents, wake up at 5:30 every morning to go to classes we didn't like in a high school we weren't particularly fond of?  The answer lies in that we wanted to acquire knowledge so that we could be accepted to a good college. Why now, do we go to classes at a university of our choosing when we could already be out in the work force, maintaining a steady income? The answer is that we have bigger dreams and higher aspirations.            

  Even still, why do we have those aspirations? Are they a result of the instillation of values from our parents? Why do some of us lean left and others fall right in ideology? From common sense to Freud, society will often tell us that we are a mere byproduct of who parents were or who they wanted to be but couldn't. Society may speculate that the conservative Fox News reporter was raised evangelical and has never strayed.  True, many of our beliefs, if not a direct parallel to our parents' are partially rooted in their ideologies. But for those of us who make it our mission to seek out truth, why must this stringent explanation be applied? Perhaps it is because, ironically, society needs a way to prove to itself that some things are certain, accurate, and surprisingly constant. Subconsciously, society is always looking for truth, sometimes its citizens find it and sometimes they don't.  Yet, as individuals and as Hofstra students, we should never assume that someone is conservative or liberal, introvert or extrovert, intelligence or slow, based upon where or who they come from.

  Furthermore as humans it will always be natural to have biases regarding political figures or ideologies. But, as students at a hidden gem of a university one of the most resourceful ones in the country, we should remember to look at issues, as well as at people, objectively when evaluating them. College is supposed to be about finding truth. As a Hofstra student, why not take a step back and, glance at your ideologies, then plunge headfirst into the sea of knowledge whose tides are already overflowing onto your sands? Why not plunge into the quest for truth, even if that means taking a glance at ideologies your parents abhor? Why not take advantage of every opportunity offered here and begin a chase for the truth, for the blinding and irrelative light?


Overheard at Hofstra

Overheard at Hofstra