Pie-ing for Bipartisanship
DES MOINES, Iowa — On a college campus and around the nation, genuine bipartisanship is an important and sometimes difficult concept. Bipartisanship is a difficult concept to maintain anywhere. But college campuses offer interesting proximity for differing ideologies. Students who identify with different political parties live together, take classes together, and participate in different clubs together in a way that people outside of college don’t. Passionate students who identify with one party operate differently than those outside college campuses. They most definitely side with their party but there is less animosity than what can be seen among parties, at least those in the public sphere. Students with different political beliefs get along and respect each other for their passion and involvement in politics even if their beliefs do not align.
During this caucus season, most of the focus in the public and on college campuses is on the Democratic Party; candidates are often stopping on campus, liberal student organizations are holding events, campaigns are seeking out volunteers and interns. Amidst this, last Wednesday, Drake College Republicans made themselves known during a widely democratic-focused time. The conservative student organization held a fundraiser in the Olmsted Breezeway, a hallway in the student center where any business student and many others travel through on their way to class. For $2 any student could “pie” one of the College Republicans executive members with a tin full of whipped cream. Many of the executive members were pied by close friends as a playful joke. While other students sought out the event to pie one of their peers from across the aisle. A few of these students said “here’s to bipartisanship” as they smeared a pie pan of whipped cream in the face of another student. Whether students were pieing for bipartisanship or out of resentment, the Drake College Republicans benefited monetarily and people with other political ideologies were allowed to indirectly and politely take out some of their possible frustration for those across the aisle.
Though some were more forceful than others, it was all in good fun. But with such political divisiveness across the nation, I’m not sure that a playful fundraiser such as this would go well in other contexts. Especially now amidst the impeachment hearings held against President Trump, it seems like people on opposite sides of the aisle are unable to put their differences aside and respect each other for their individual passions and beliefs.