As I strolled past the Lory Student Center on Monday, I noticed that the College Republicans had placed an information booth on the quad, replete with red-white-and-blue bunting and placards encouraging support for President Bush and the "War on Terrorism."
I would guess that among the ranks of the CSU College Republicans there are a number of veterans, and perhaps members of the National Guard, Reserve or campus ROTC. My hat is off to them, as it is to all veterans and those currently serving. Military service is a hazardous and difficult proposition even in peacetime, and more so when there's the possibility of being deployed halfway around the globe where people are shooting at you.
For the rest of the College Republicans – those of eligible age and possessing no physical or mental disqualifications, anyway – I've got a question: What are you doing here? Don't you think that you could better support the "War on Terror" by enlisting than by mouthing neoconservative platitudes on a college campus?
The U.S. military, particularly the Army, is currently experiencing a serious shortfall in recruiting, resulting in longer and more frequent combat tours for those already in uniform. I must presume the College Republicans are aware of this, and thus conclude that for those who have not served, or are not currently serving, one or more of the following applies:
1) You do not actually support the War on Terror, despite what your placards say. The term for those who say one thing but do another is "hypocrite."
2) You, like many Americans during the Vietnam and Korean conflicts, are quite content to "support" wars as long as they don't personally inconvenience you, or if they're fought by others, especially those from our nation's lower socio-economic strata. See the term used in 1) above.
3) You have, you know, "other priorities." Uh-huh. That's the excuse our esteemed Deputy Commander-in-Chief Dick Cheney used, anyway. (Do you think he ever had to explain that to his draft board?)
4) You lack fortitude. While this is understandable on a certain level, you should know that there's also a word for this: "chicken." There are other, stronger words, too.
Conservatives were outraged at students who used college deferments, false identities and other subterfuge to avoid service during the Vietnam War. At least those students had the courage of their convictions; the College Republicans are hiding behind pseudo-patriotic B.S. while our soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen serve multiple tours in Iraq. All the services maintain recruiting facilities right here in Fort Collins, and they'll be glad to sign you up – we're short of recruits, remember?
Admittedly, enlistment will conflict with fraternity parties, football games, monster-truck rallies, creationist teach-ins or whatever it is you guys do for fun these days. But at least you'll be able to say that you walked the walk. Now, raise your right hands…
John L. Korfmacher
Fort Collins Resident