Views expressed in opinion columns are the author's own.
In the past week, two of my colleagues at The Diamondback have written columns bemoaning moderate Republicans and characterizing their agenda as not genuinely moderate. Jack Lewis wrote an article charging Gov. Larry Hogan with not actually being moderate, but in reality, he just condemned all forms of moderate Republicanism. His penultimate sentence was, "The idea of the moderate Republican has always been a lie that invites us to be complicit with injustice in the name of bipartisanship."
[Read more: Larry Hogan wants to appear moderate. He's not.]
A day later, Max Foley-Keene recommended that Maryland be pushed even further to the left to expose the radicalism of the moderates. It is this exact kind of gross oversimplification and hardline one-sided politics that disenfranchises the plurality of this country. It led to the election of our current president and makes liberal millennials seem like closed-minded snowflakes who can't handle disagreement.
Foley-Keene and Lewis are as wrong as they are radical. Dismissing the perspectives of moderate Republicans is ridiculous, closed-minded and would lead the nation into a group-think mentality. Moderate Republicans have a lot to offer the United States, and understanding their perspectives can prove enlightening. With just a few examples, it is easy to showcase how moderate Republicans can be considered within some realm of acceptability and that their policies often have real rationale behind them.
Lewis cites Governor Hogan's opposition to the teacher's union as an expression of right wing radicalism. However, teachers' unions have again and again been shown to work for the benefit of teachers and not students, and improvements to the education system have been constantly hampered by union demands.
Lewis also accuses Hogan of favoring private schools, when research shows that school choice programs force public schools to improve and frequently benefit underserved students. At the same time, he criticized Hogan's move to extend summer break, which has widespread support across the political spectrum and is one of the most popular decisions of his gubernatorial career.
Furthermore, in other areas, Hogan has been surprisingly progressive. Hogan supported the Paris climate agreement, signed on to the Climate Alliance and has pledged to reduce the state's carbon footprint. Hogan also closed a poor Baltimore jail, a progressive stance on incarceration endorsed by the ACLU.
Meanwhile, under Hogan, the Maryland economy has been soaring and most people are better off now than they were before his election. Hogan has lowered taxes and focused on controversial ways to better the state. This type of governing models the benefits of moderate Republicans who focus on fiscal responsibility and economic outcomes.
I am still unsure whether I will vote to re-elect Hogan, but the claim that as a moderate Republican he has nothing to offer is simply absurd. It is irresponsible for columnists to espouse such closed-minded views of others' opinions, as they cherry-pick evidence to avoid any nuance. Hogan may not be their ideal candidate, but he certainly falls under the umbrella of reasonable politicians. I would encourage these columnists to be more cautious with their rhetoric, as they are in danger of alienating the large portion of the country that disagrees with them.
Moshe Klein is a senior government and politics major. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.