By: Emmet Baumgarten, Columnist
More and more often at the weekly meetings for The Paladin, someone brings up that some other person or group has accused us of being a liberal paper. The possibilities are that either Furman students, whom The Paladin aims to represent, are predominantly liberal or émoderate, or Furman’s conservative students have neglected to represent themselves by submitting articles to The Paladin. The Paladin is only capable of representing the views for which it has articles; thus, if your view is underrepresented, I encourage you to submit an article.
The foremost inaccuracy of the assumption that The Paladin is liberal is that we do have frequent, conservative contributors to the Opinions section—such as Payton Isner—who help broaden the spectrum of views The Paladin represents and creates dialogue among both our contributors and our readers. It is true that our conservative contributors are outnumbered, but again, I reiterate that The Paladin can only represent the views it receives through articles. Thus, the imbalance is the result of a lack of contribution. Several times last year our former opinions editor, Marian Baker, had to actively reach out for conservative articles, because we were receiving so few.
Let us imagine that an issue of The Paladin with five liberal articles, two moderate articles, and two conservative articles. It is somewhat reasonable to “add” these views together, with liberal and conservative articles cancelling each other out meaning we receive a net of three liberal articles and two moderate articles. This would make The Paladin seem liberal. If The Paladin were truly liberal, however, it simply would not publish these conservative views at all. The fact is that The Paladin actively seeks to represent the voices of all students, yet it can only represent those voices in the proportion it receives them.
It is time for Furman’s conservative students to either represent themselves in The Paladin or to quit accusing it of being liberal. All students have equal opportunity to represent their views, but so many neglect this opportunity. I doubt I will agree much with the conservative views that are under-contributed; however, I openly invite it. The dialogue a more varied paper will create will allow for contributors to respond to one another, which will be much more interesting than writing another article about what imbecilic thing Donald Trump has done this week or about why Mike Pence is a scumbag. If an article is more interesting to write, it will be more interesting to read. A more varied range of views benefits The Paladin’s contributors, readers, and the whole Furman community.