By Ariel Koiman, Guest Editorialist
Support for abortion, same-sex marriage, withdrawal of American troops from foreign bases, and amnesty (possibility of citizenship and federal benefits) for illegal immigrants all made it onto Mock Convention 2012’s Republican platform.
What ought to have been Ohio Wesleyan’s genuine reproduction of the upcoming Republican National Convention devolved into a mockery of the Republican Party, featuring the passage of truly laughable amendments that literally reversed the GOP’s stance on just about everything overnight, a feat that would put any Democratic politician to shame.
From economic issues to foreign policy, certain Mock participants zealously advocated their own opinions over what their respective states would have actually pushed for.
It was appalling, at best, to see delegations from Southern states give emotionally charged speeches about the merits of allowing women to choose abortion, as if this argument could sway life-minded conservatives.
One of Mock’s headlining ‘achievements’ was the nomination of comedian and Democrat Stephen Colbert for the Republican vice presidential ticket. Rather than voting for a likely Republican candidate, fellow participants elected the eminent Flaming Sword of Justice-wielder in a bid to do no more than have themselves featured in a segment on his show.
Mock Convention is supposed to be an exercise for those with a genuine interest in American electoral politics, with some fun elements to boot.
The remarkable intransigence of those who had their own agendas in mind was not only in poor taste, but detrimental to the experience of those who earnestly wanted to participate in a setup that was artificial yet conducive to constructive, educational debate.
I’m not asking for people to betray their conscience. I understand how difficult it is to promote viewpoints, even in a fictitious setting, one might consider heinously unjust and incompatible with modern society.
The entire point of Mock, however, is to act like someone who sincerely holds such views. It is an educational experience, not a soapbox.
Had unwaveringly liberal and/or wisecracking students not ruined the integrity of Mock Convention by at least trying to play Republican for a night, it could have been so much better.