Wednesday 20th August 2014,
The Transcript

Liberal students make mockery of GOP convention last Saturday

Staff February 15, 2012 Opinion 2 Comments

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.

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2 Comments

  1. BattlBishopMansk February 16, 2012 at 1:40 am

    What part of “Mock Convention” does this “guest editorialist” not understand? Not only did I read a long-winded article replete with appallingly poor grammar, I also wasted my time trying to understand what the author totally missed.It’s a mock convention for Pete’s sake.Mock, as in “to treat with contempt or ridicule” (Merriam Webster Dictionary). Seriously, I’m laughing my butt off now whist laying all this scorn. To think that the author–Ariel Koiman–actually “pretended” to be a Republican in this debate is priceless humor at its best.(I’m pretty sure that he is a GOP fanatic who was pissed off at his anti-abortion policies being parodied.)
    Wake up and smell the coffee,Mr.Koiman.OWU’s Mock Convention is a celebration of the liberal colors that this University proudly sports.Yes, we are liberal: it’s a liberal arts college after all! The reason our team won the “Best Debate Platform” is because we knew what we were doing.You on the other hand flubbed in front of everyone, not knowing your stuff. You thought you could take the opportunity to trumpet your Republican views. Unfortunately, you failed. Abjectly. That’s why you got no accolades from the judges.Cheers to all those participated in the Mock Convention! Don’t listen to this doubting Thomas.

    You all did well!

  2. Ariel Koiman February 17, 2012 at 1:17 am

    Noah,

    A couple of points – first, a clarification of the definition of ‘mock’. Mock Convention invokes the definition “to imitate closely, mimic” (also from Merriam-Webster’s), rather than the one you suggested. If the event was indeed meant to ridicule, the planners would not have taken the time to write platforms that accurately reflect the views of the Republican party. I urge you to locate any phrase in the literature that suggests that the intention of the event was to joke around and misrepresent your delegation. What about all of the previous Mock Conventions whose participants adhered to the party norms? Though I can’t decide for you, I am doubtful that you would be as inclined to parody a party’s politics if you agreed with them. 

    Furthermore, since we don’t really know each other, I’ll be happy to clarify that I am certainly not a Republican, I am a Libertarian who supports abortion, gay marriage, legalization of marijuana, etc. I am all for relaxed immigration policies, such as a guest worker program and something like the DREAM Act, which provides amnesty to promising students who want to attend college. As the state chair of Mississippi, however, it would have been grossly inappropriate for me to have stood there promoting such views, incongruous with the state GOP’s actual stances. I can assure you that, as an atheist, I would not address a crowd asserting America’s ‘moral religious traditions’ without a compelling reason. I therefore contend that my point holds irrespective of my political inclination.  

    The term ‘liberal arts’ refers not to political orientation, but to a diverse, all-encompassing field of studies. I reject your assertion that Ohio Wesleyan stands for a particular ideology; such an endorsement would be inconsistent with the values of educational institutions, which do not engage in partisanship. 

    I did not flub during the debate. I accurately and coherently presented my state’s views, and promoted candidates that my state would likely support (Santorum/Rice). I never once strayed from the party’s politics. While I understand that you had great fun rewriting the GOP’s platform, do understand that Mock is meant to *imitate* the real Republican National Convention as an educational experience, not to bend it to your will, delightful a fantasy as it is.

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