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OPINION: Pizza and Politics minimized ideological campus divisions

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Opinion writer Cade Plotts shares his thoughts on Pizza and Politics and its greater political implications. Spoiler alert: the campus is less divided on major issues than you might think.

Pizza and Politics was an event held last Thursday by the Ohio University College Republicans, College Democrats and LGBT Center. The event was not marketed as a debate, but as a civil discussion between the groups on various topics. The attendees split themselves between different tables to each have their own conversations, with an average of two people from every group at each table. The topics were both humorous and serious and ranged from discussing potential celebrity parents to the events in Charlottesville.

VIDEO: Politics and Pizza

Pizza and Politics was an eye-opener for many of its attendees, as it showed that the divide between left and right is not nearly as profound as the media would have us believe. Misleading news would indicate that the fringe groups on the left and right represent the entirety of either side, thus alienating one another.

This was determined to be a complete fabrication when questions about the Freedom of Expression policy were raised. Most agreed that the interim policy was a prime example of overreach in that its vague language could stifle speech the administration did not agree with. Attendees also agreed that a state university could not enforce a policy that could be used to cut down our First Amendment protections.

Another subject that a majority could reach a compromise on was the question about taking down Confederate symbols. While many people came to the table with solutions already in mind, from “don’t destroy history” to “tear them down,” eventually most agreed on taking the symbols down only if the local community decided to do so, and that the statues had to be put in a museum or other appropriate place so that our history would not be erased.

The left and right certainly have their differences on many polarizing issues. But many of the sensationalized social issues often reflect much smaller differences, ones that are frankly negligible except to those that would keep our great nation divided. People on either side of the aisle need to start engaging the opposition with an open mind, and less with the superior air of certainty in their counterpart’s ideas and opinions being wrong.

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