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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Letters to the Editor

California’s surrealism
Perhaps “surreal” has been overused, but I can think of no other word to describe Arnold Schwarzenegger’s election as governor of California. It is baffling that so many people voted for someone who expressed nothing more than a vague comprehension of the political and social issues in California. Admittedly, Arnold benefited from a charisma that has been publicized and constructed like few others in political history. However, what I find so surreal about Arnold’s election was the complicity of the mainstream media. Arnold’s campaign was given a degree of legitimacy that I still can’t fully explain, except that the past few weeks have proved absurd the accusation of “liberal bias” in the media.

Arnie’s win further demonstrates how conservative ideology is deeply ingrained in American culture at this moment. I’ve been in awe of how the media presented Arnold’s campaign. Had any “Hollywood star” run with even the slightest liberal agenda (Susan Sarandon comes to mind), journalists would have collectively laughed. Arnie was considered a legitimate contender solely because he ran on the right.

Conservative beliefs have been normalized to the point that whomever leverages the ideology in the public sphere is granted an amazing degree of validity. Arnold was able to appear on “The Tonight Show” and “Oprah” as a serious candidate, rather than as an entertainer who held social and political beliefs, because the mainstream media presents conservative ideology not as contestable but as the principle. Anyone, including a hugely popular movie star, can articulate a conservative agenda and have their arguments go unexamined by the public. Indeed, only the label “liberal” engenders serious examination, and most likely dismissal.

In the last decade or so, the popular accusation of a “liberal bias” has pushed the mainstream media increasingly toward the right. The label has also normalized conservative ideology as the most legitimate perspective in the public sphere. Arnold’s campaign and the media’s complete validation of his candidacy prove just how conservative America has become.

-Paul Myron Hillier, Ph.D student in American Studies

Close H Street
GW should work with Foggy Bottom residents and the D.C. City Council to close H Street and turn that area into some green space for community and student use. I urge GW to extend the quad and plant new trees and grass on the portion of H Street that now cuts through the center of campus.

Alternatively, the University could build something that residents of Arlington, Va., are all too familiar with – the aptly named “speed hump.” These humps in the road are about four feet long from end to end and cross all the way across the street. They are impossible to speed over without scraping the bottom of a car. Two or three strategically placed “speed humps” between 21st and 22nd streets could easily solve the H Street problem.

So, why not do this before someone else gets hurt? Based on my experience at GW during the past three years, I am sure we will have many more close calls between students and cars (“Vehicle hits student,” Oct. 2, p. 1) before anything will be done to solve this dangerous problem. GW should work with the city to solve this problem immediately.

-Megan Robertson, senior

NOW hypocrisy
The National Organization for Women advertised a rally against the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of silicone breast implants in Monday’s Hatchet. First of all, let me make it absolutely clear that I agree with NOW on this issue. Since there is a great deal of evidence that silicone implants harm women, the government has an overriding interest in banning the procedure. I was pleased that NOW agrees.

But hold on. Silicone breast implants are a medical procedure involving an intimate part of a woman’s body. How can NOW possibly support government interference in this matter? Do women, then, not have complete sovereignty over their bodies? The ad says that keeping silicone implants illegal will save tens of thousands of women, but each of these women surely chose to undergo the operation.

Abortion is at least as dangerous as silicone breast implants. There is a national gag rule on even mentioning the mere possibility of health risks associated with abortion, not to mention the emotional and spiritual traumas that women face when they undergo the procedure. Just as society has an interest in protecting women from the negative effects of silicone, society has an interest in regulating abortion. NOW contradicts itself every day that it advocates the banning of one procedure and not the other.

-Andrew Herron, senior

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