America: A 4-Letter Word
Please visit Robert's editorial sponsor.
If free speech is only allowed by government sanction, then we have no freedom of speech.
If you hate America so much, why not leave?
While the measure ultimately applied to all flags, great pains were taken to single out the American flag as a symbol of "colonialism and imperialism," which they apparently felt would mar the space's "inclusivity."
The resolution was inherently ridiculous and self-contradictory, and in many ways represents a mindset that is becoming all too common in modern America: if someone, somewhere, might at some time find something to be insensitive or offensive, then that thing, in all of its forms, must be banned. The measure even, towards the end, refers to Freedom of Speech as "a valued right," but then in the next statement says that "Whereas freedom of speech, in a space that aims to be as inclusive as possible can be interpreted as hate speech, Let it be resolved that ASUCI make every effort to make the Associated Students main lobby space as inclusive as possible." In other words, freedom of speech is a valued right, but it will not exist in the Associated Students main lobby space at UC Irvine.
After the resolution was passed, it didn't take long for it to gain national attention, and in the face of overwhelming public outcry, the student government's executive cabinet met and vetoed the measure.
While the resolution went on at length about the symbolism of flags and how different people will have differing interpretations of that symbolism, the resolution itself is a symbol of how our education system is failing our nation. After all, America didn't start a system of government-funded compulsory schooling solely to teach children how to read, write, and do math (which themselves are done too poorly at too many American schools), but schools were also to teach children how to be good citizens. There is an element of ideological indoctrination in any government-run school system, and it seems that all too often these days, the ideology pushed in our schools is meant to benefit the government itself, and not the people that government is supposed to be of, by, and for.
The Constitution states that freedom of speech shall not be abridged, yet college campuses have become notorious locales for the establishment of "free-speech zones," apparently unaware that the establishment of such zones means that the First Amendment is suspended in all other areas of the campus. And yet, in a day and age when even the United States Supreme Court, supposedly the arbiters of whether laws pass Constitutional muster, restrict free speech and peaceable assembly outside their own building, one must wonder whether the Constitution still matters anywhere in America anymore.
The trend of hatred toward America seems to be growing on U.S. campuses. Earlier this year, the UC Student Association at UCLA voted to divest from America. Maybe the U.S. government should divest from UCLA - no more federal grants, no more student loans or scholarships to UCLA students...and then see how they feel.
This is the irony of the Progressive mind: the constant condemnation of the leaders of our past, combined with naive faith that sharp-dressed peacocks with no ethics and no moral compass will lead us into a brighter Tomorrow. They bad-mouth the men who developed our system of government, taking for granted that without that system, their words would mean a prison sentence, or worse. They have worked for decades to destroy all traces of traditional morality in our society, but fail to understand why so many in our society lack basic morality. They constantly judge others by their skin color, but fail to understand why racial animosity still exists in America.
When, exactly, did virulent anti-Americanism become such a big part of being a liberal in America? Rudy Giuliani made waves last month when he said "I do not believe that the president loves America," yet you wouldn't expect a man who loves America to go on a crusade to "fundamentally transform" America, or to go around bad-mouthing his country around the world. It's very en vogue to be anti-American in the Democrat Party, yet while we see the Left applaud as the president actively subverts our system of government, it becomes increasingly clear that they don't understand the effects that destroying our government's system of checks and balances will have on the freedoms they claim to covet.
Just as U.C. Irvine's student government basically stated, "We value freedom of speech, but only that speech which conforms to our ideals," they will value tyranny, so long as that tyranny targets those they disagree with, seemingly ignorant to the fact that in a nation that is still democratic, the tables could all too easily turn against them.
There is no nation on this Earth with a history of perfection, and the United States of America is no exception to that rule. But if today's generation of Americans is so hell-bent on hating America, then perhaps it's time for them to go out and see the world. See what it's like to live in a third-world dictatorship. Go and experience how well you fare living in Venezuela, North Korea, Iran, or Russia while criticizing the governments there.
America isn't a perfect nation, but we are a great nation so long as we value freedom. If free speech is only allowed so long as it is sanctioned by the government, then we have lost our right to free speech. If religion is allowed only so long as the government permits it, then we have no freedom of religion. If we are only allowed the kind of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness the government feels is right for us, then we have lost our right to life, liberty, and to pursue happiness - and this applies to every level of government, be it federal, state, local, or even the student-run government at a government-run university. If you hate America so much that you cannot stand to see a symbol of our nation in your so-called "inclusive space," then your "university" isn't doing its job, because you are just another useful idiot.
Robert Cleveland, Senior Conservative Editor: Robert Cleveland is the IT Director for a document management services company. When he isn't working on computers and scanners, he's spending time with his wife and kids, or writing about just how jacked-up Washington politics is. He is a strong believer that hard work and freedom are what make America the greatest nation on the planet, and it is of the utmost importance that we never lose those values. Robert's other writing can be found at his blog, more...)