Leftism in Lincoln-Way East – The threat that exists to students with not-so uncommon politics


(A picture inside the room of Lincoln-Way East Student, Andrew Franson, who holds a flag collection)

Andrew Franson, Staff Reporter

Within the Lincoln-Way Area, particularly Frankfort, the hyper-conservative and reactionary politics play a bigger role than ever when it comes to local elections, campaigns, and even coming down to the family unit and its interactions with wider society. However, in our area exists a small population of genuine leftists, including everyday students whom one would never suspect to be the ‘radlibs’ that they’re referred to as. As inconsequential as this is, the truth is that the Left is in genuine danger in this area.Conservatives since the start of the Cold-War in 1949 have made it their complete goal to destroy any form of Leftist politics, to go as far as possible. This includes the trials from HUAC (House on Un-American Activities Committee) to the most recent attacks from the Republican Party on the Democratic Party, accusing the Democrats of being ‘radical communists’, despite the party being a liberal, pro-capitalist party nor the republicans knowing what Communism and Socialism is. Before continuing, these terms should be defined with the upmost accuracy.Communism – a stateless, classless, moneyless society, which is established after a transitory period, socialism.Socialism – the means of production (how things are made, factories, farms, and other workplaces), distribution (mainly the distribution of wealth) and exchange (trade) is owned by the working class, or the proletariat 

So, why define these terms? Why go as far as to take on this issue? Simply put – this sets up the issue that students on the left face within our school. However, because of designated Cold-War Tactics, Leftists fare off worse than their right winged peers in civil discourse. A great example of this exact situation would be myself. When originally hosting my podcast, the Lincoln-Way Leftist, I received varying harassing messages online, including baseless threats to humiliate me, cause abuse to, or exile me. All to take on, as in the words of many on the right-wing spectrum, “the commie threat”.They have also taken on to furthermore spreading misinformation not only on myself, but leftism in general. As many do not understand exactly what the ‘left’ is, they take it on themselves to take it out of civil discourse, as if to violate the basic principles of our own constitution and what we base ourselves on – to be the freest nation on earth. Leftism as a whole is not a dangerous phenomenon. In fact, in parts, it’s the opposite.Leftists have been the pioneers of taking on human rights violations, especially those committed by the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Leftists have also furthered the rights of LGBTQIA+ peoples, taken on racism, social and economic inequality, and have aimed at ensuring the success of all peoples, regardless of who they are. Marxism itself has taken on the exploitation of the working class by ensuring a society in which exploitation and theft of surplus value (True value of labor of the Proletariat that creates a surplus product of which the entrepreneur becomes the owner) doesn’t exist any longer. The only threat to the Left is authoritarianism and those with ulterior motives, as with every political ideology to ever exist.So why is this a problem, if Leftism ‘isn’t so bad’? Simple – people do not read. They do not take the time to take in every single fact possible, from both sides of politics, nor do they take the time to ensure what they take in isn’t propaganda sponsored by the West, similarly pulled on Gaddafi, Lenin, and Subcomandante Marcos, for example. 

To make our school safer is to ensure that both the Left and Right can participate in discourse safely. Education and the educational process is inherently a political one and to disrupt this is to destroy education itself. So, by ensuring that both Leftists and Rightists can discuss whatever to wish to (with regards to politics, of course) and have guaranteed protection is vital to a society in which we have wider and more open opinions. Nothing as ‘too political’ exists when everything is a political process.  

For in the words of Kevin McCleish, a social science educator at East, “everything is political.”