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I am a proud conservative. In the continuing wake of this historic year, I am displeased that this identification has become inextricably bound to perhaps the most polarizing figure of our time. I am further displeased with the growing tendency across party lines to assume those with whom you disagree step forth from a position of iniquity. The antecedent force of this writing is the antecedent of civil denigration.

What we have is far too precious to tarnish with ill-conceived assumptions; I speak here to both sides of the aisle and beyond. When we assume the worst in others, the worst in them manifests preemptively. As the people wield their worst, so shall the republic follow.

My plea is not rooted in pessimism, however—no, quite the contrary. These United States occupy far too dear a position in my heart to relinquish my hope for a better future. I simply call on my fellow students, faculty, administrators and Americans to meet in the middle with grace and exemplify the traits of our democracy that allow it to stand.

I lean on the words of the honorable Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plain of dignity and discipline.” Ours is a time when the volume of this call is great; it is my hope that the OSU community responds with resolve. The alternative is far too dangerous to tease.

Kyle R. King

Senior English Major

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