:: Running from the Thought Police ::

Reality-Based Thoughts, Ruminations, and Unsolicited Opinions of a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign student alumnus and employee.
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:: Tuesday, August 31, 2004 ::

I'm Going To Have To Think On This One

...But ignorance of this magnitude requires a response.

UPDATE: I've written my response. It comes in two words shy of the word limit for a letter to the DI, and will hopefully appear in a slighlty edited form in a few days.

It both saddens and angers me that there are those whose blind, simple patriotism keeps them from seeing how vital protests like those at the RNC are. I am by no means obligated to support the President and his administration when he persists in foreign policies with which I disagree. We have invaded a nation that was no threat to us and had done nothing to provoke us; we continue to occupy it even though it has been “liberated.” This was a war with which I never agreed. I marched against it on the Quad the day the invasion was announced – I was told my picture even made it into the DI. To tell me that I should not exercise my right to protest, and that others shouldn’t exercise theirs, demonstrates a complete lack of understanding not only of the first amendment, but of the basic principles of democracy. The people, those who are truly in power, must have differing opinions. If we lack that, we may as well live in a totalitarian state. Those people whose positions differ with their governments can and should protest, not only so that they may be heard but that other viewpoints besides the official one can be heard by all. Dissent is necessary, and expressing it is the patriotic duty of those who disagree.

I am an Eagle Scout: my patriotism is not up for question. We who protest, we whose love of our country has caused us to be saddened by its stumbles, we are all patriots, no matter our background. Guilt trips will not stop us. We want our country to be better and to do better. We want our county to live up to its own standards. Do not begrudge us as we work peaceably towards these ends.

Junior in LAS

:: The Squire 1:49 AM :: email this post :: ::


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