Smith: The verbal war on the plaza was inevitable

Stuart Smith

In case you didn’t notice, there was essentially an all-out verbal war between liberals and conservatives on campus Monday. Perhaps it was inevitable, but that doesn’t make it any more enjoyable.

The college Democrats have had their tent set up for months now, and we’ve gotten used to it. It’s been annoying, but we’ve found ways to get around it. Whether you cut through Clark A like I have, opted to walk all the way around the library or Clark, or just walked right past them while doing your best not to make eye contact, we’ve all strayed away from them.


Then, last month, conservatives on campus built a “free speech” wall. While he said that it wasn’t meant to anger people, organizer Juan Caro was open about that it was in response to the daily presence of the Democrats. And even if it wasn’t meant to incite anger, that is exactly what it did.

And on Monday, all of the tension that had been built up between these two groups reached a peak.

The day started off with just the Democrats being on campus, and the man-bun guy that we now know all too well using his abnormally loud megaphone to broadcast to us for the millionth time that we can vote in the LSC. A new weapon, however, was a golf cart plastered in Clinton posters with a giant gay pride flag waving off the back, blasting music. And they drove it straight through the plaza, seemingly ignorant to the fact that hundreds of students were walking there, trying to get to class. I even saw them drive it as far away as the Engineering building, still blasting music with that majestic and enormous flag. They also parked a mid-size SUV, also covered with Clinton posters, right in the plaza, where people couldn’t ignore it even if they tried, because it was directly in the path that everyone takes to get to class. Doesn’t really make you want to vote for their candidate, does it?

But they weren’t alone in this.

Conservatives quickly joined them in the plaza, taking over the stump, and making just as loud of a ruckus. They parked a Jeep covered in Trump posters right next to the stump, and set up tables so they could hand out as many Trump posters as they could. There was also a girl with her own megaphone, yelling at the passersby about how horrible Clinton is, how Trump would “make America great again,” and all that bullshit. Again, not the best way to get someone to vote for Presidential candidate you want.

As I said before, this could very well have been inevitable.

We’ve nominated possibly the two worst candidates in American history for President. Trump has the highest disapproval rating of any candidate in history, which would be debilitating, except for that Clinton has the second highest disapproval of any candidate in history. We’re left with two choices that are both disapproved of by over half of the country.

One is like any other politician, except that most politicians are at least somewhat adept at covering up their corruption, and the other is a reality star who can’t shut his mouth, and doesn’t care what he says. In fact, he’s so bad at not making an ass of himself that his campaign banned him from Twitter.

This perfect pairing showed just how great it is during the Presidential debates, two of which I had the honor of covering. All three of their debates devolved into shouting matches without the shouting, with both candidates seeming to struggle to hold themselves back from going off on the other. And both candidates have directly attacked each other on Twitter, an app well known for its insightful and intelligent debate.

So while the battle on the plaza was obnoxious and exasperating, it shouldn’t be surprising. This is where we’ve taken our country. This is what we’re stuck with. And I don’t think that it’s going to end with the election. These candidates opened up a problem and discussion that won’t be solved with a simple vote. We’re going to have to do a lot more in order to fix this.