I’ve always been impressed by the diversity of political opinion at Cornell. In choosing colleges, I figured that if I was going to leave the Democratic stronghold of Montgomery County, Maryland, I might as well go try something new! Cornell has a healthier representation of moderates and conservatives than most of the other schools I visited, which was quite the draw. My closest friends include three republicans, which is two more than I had in high school (the lone libertarian notwithstanding.)
Accordingly, it wasn’t hard to find a Republican among our group who wanted to join me for Bill Maher‘s appearance on campus on Sunday night. Sitting next to her in Barton Hall, coincidentally the same location where our Stats final destroyed our GPAs the semester before, we had quite the good evening. I’d say we laughed at the same jokes about half of the time: Maher’s “equal-opportunity offender” mantle is no exaggeration.
I agreed with much of what Maher had to say about our leaders in Congress on both sides of the aisle. I’m not alone among the Democrats-for-life who have been disappointed with what little our majority in Congress has accomplished since 2006. I laughed and clapped along with his remarks on the Bush administration, but I had to stop when he started beating up on religious Americans. The same argument based on his supposed intellectual superiority gets old, especially when he focuses on their intellect and beliefs rather than their actions. I took a break from clapping for a good twenty minutes, but was happy to rejoin when he went back to points we can all agree on: we all have a stake in this country, and we’ve got to take this election seriously. My qualms aside, Maher got me even more excited for November 4.