When looking at the current state of affairs in both our country and our campus, one thing becomes clear. Ideology is no longer mere "ideology." Beliefs and values are transforming into actions, ways of life. What one side considers a defense, the other considers a threat. The recent span of events at Iowa State are merely reflections of the deepening tension and polarization of the nation and its citizens.
"Communism" and "Fascism," code words that are flung by opposing forces who see each other as "the enemy." The late American sociologist C. Wright Mills in his 1958 book "The Causes of World War Three" states the following: ''In the vortex of struggle, each is trapped by his own fearful outlook and by his fear of the other; each moves and is moved within a circle both vicious and lethal'' (Mills 1958: P. 4). Mills' warning puts into perspective the fear of the potential reality, will this span of discourse that consumes both the country and campus end in mutual annihilation or complete separatism?
This latest span of discourse also sparks interests into the narrative of the disenfranchised, the inability of decision-making garnered by both the administration and the power elite is often greater than those decisions they do make, and this inability of action has sparked re-action, re-action fueled by the effects of political and social extremism and the disenchantment perceived by the marginalized sectors of both the community and the country.
And what about the center? Those who occupy the realms of the politically unknowing and unwilling, what will be of their fate? Not only on this campus but in the seams of the country. As this battle rages forward, these are ideas that must be considered as the narrative and face of both America and Iowa State rapidly undergoes great change.