Liberal Whitties Rejoice at Human Death

Megumi Rierson, staff writer

It’s no secret that Whitman students take pride in putting the capital L “Liberal” in Liberal Arts, but this week we have really outdone ourselves. Following legendary Supreme Court Justice Antonin (or Anthony, depending on your allegiances to Michelle Bachmann) Scalia’s sudden death, Whitman students approached the outpouring of sympathy in the media as an opportunity to remind their fellow social media sheeple of their staunchly liberal political views. Whether it was through witty Facebook statuses, sharing Onion articles, or weird email chains with dubiously progressive family members, Whitman students eagerly reminded us this week that, if there’s anything you can politicize the shit out of, it’s human life.

As we all know, a valiant cornerstone of our democracy is the conflation of political views with levels of intelligence and judgments of character. That’s why you never see a donkey and an elephant in the same cage at a zoo, because they both probably believe the other one to be a radical nutjob hellbent on destroying the republic with their heathen ideologies inculcated by generations of all-around terrible humans who should never have risen to power in the first place. Our reaction to Scalia’s death followed this age-old tradition by using a difference in political ideology as the basis for celebrating the loss of human life with the same zest usually reserved for Earth Party or the new round of monogrammed OP Patagonias. An on-site correspondent for The Pioneer reported hearing the founding fathers roll over in their graves from sheer glee.

The Pioneer reached out to students for their thoughts on the matter. One student claimed their peers were being “too sensitive” and “overly coddled” when expressing discomfort with the immediate celebration of Scalia’s death. When asked about the potential similarities between his choice of words and capital R Republican rhetoric surrounding pertinent issues of social justice, the student responded with silence because he was understandably busy sharing another article with a highly original and refreshing stance on Supreme Court politics to his Facebook page.

Whitman students continue to inspire the nation with their message of progressive, accepting politics, especially when they use the death of a man whose political views challenge theirs as the butt of a cheap joke. In a time of polarizing, hate-driven rhetoric in the realm of politics, it’s refreshing to see that partisan hypocrisy still has a home in the liberal circle jerk of our campus. The laws of basic human decency apparently elude us in the social media age as we race to the bottom to achieve the ever-elusive politically-aware-but-still-funny-and-super-chill social media persona.

The news cycle has already moved on to coverage of the impending Congressional gridlock over Obama’s potential appointee, which will make it even easier for all of us in the hive mind on both sides of the political spectrum to use the loss of human life as an opportunity to remind the country that differences in political views equate to differences in moral compassing. We’d like to think of ourselves as preachers and followers of a progressive political agenda that respects all human life with the decency it deserves. Instead, we are once again reminded of the proverb coined by Marcus Whitman himself, “the rules apply to everyone except for when they inconvenience me.”