Our bleeding heart

The lead cover article of last week’s Vanguard discussed an issue that some PSU students apparently find to be quite pressing: namely, that there’s a strong liberal bias at PSU.

No shit! Really? Our little Portland State University, a hotbed of liberal sentiment? It couldn’t possibly be so! That’s like going to the Deep South and saying there’s a strong Christian bias there! Or going to Alaska in December and observing that it’s really dark and cold.

Of course PSU is “a breeding ground of liberal ideology,” as Cameron Turner so aptly put it. We’re in PORTLAND, OREGON, the granola-flavored hipster capitol of the American Northwest. Throw a rock and you’re bound to hit a bisexual vegan stoner. This town is famous for being extremely liberal, and that’s one of the main reasons I moved here six months ago. It’s the reason a lot of us are fleeing California and coming up here – the hype about California being the most liberal state of all is no longer true. California is full of SUVs and soccer moms. For the multiple-tattooed, transgendered, soy-latte-chugging PETA members of the world, Portland is the place to be. Is it any surprise that the largest university in the state, located in the most populous city in Oregon, would be just a wee bit slanted toward the left?

I am absolutely tickled to live in a town that inspires such nose-squinching scorn in the right wing. We live in a city known the nation over for being eco-friendly, progressive and a bit wacky. Isn’t that something to be proud of? Sure, we shouldn’t go out of our way to alienate our more conservative brethren. But at the same time, we shouldn’t have to change the character of our city to accommodate what is clearly a minority.

Liberalism preaches inclusion. It would be hypocritical to exclude anyone from our little corner of the world just for his or her political beliefs. And it’s silly of anyone who comes to PSU to expect to be greeted by a campus GOP rally.

It is the very liberalism of our community that allows students like Turner to voice their opinion. In a more conservative atmosphere – say, the Deep South – one would encounter far more resistance and possibly violence when expressing an unpopular view. Here, ideas are freely expressed, and that’s a good thing.

In short, of course Portland State is a liberally biased community. Many of us wouldn’t have it any other way.