Nov 082007
Authors: Brendan Durkin

On behalf of the CSU Young Democrats, I would like to thank the Rocky Mountain Collegian for their coverage of the activities that took place on the plaza Thursday.

While I was mildly amused by what appears to be an over-the-top, satirical opinion column, I feel that the column served to promote several erroneous stereotypes about our organization, liberal attitudes and Democrats in general.

I may have taken the jab at our group a little more seriously than others, considering my own experience with the United States Military. In 2001, I joined the US Army’s Airborne Infantry. During a five-year span I was deployed to Afghanistan twice and Iraq once. I had to dig real deep not to be offended by a tasteless joke that made me out to be an opponent of the men and women I served with.

As anyone who was on campus Thursday will tell you, the CSU Young Democrats erected a 30-foot tall donkey next to the plaza. The donkey has been a symbol of the Democratic Party since Andrew Jackson’s presidency in the 1820’s.

Contrary to what the “comedian” who wrote Friday’s editorial might think, the donkey was not a prank or an antic. It may have appeared excessive, but ultimately, the CSU Dems were celebrating our freedom of expression and freedom of speech to promote progressive groups on campus.

We were celebrating our political party and reaching out to students, letting them know that progressive views can be represented on this campus as well as anyone’s.

I’m not out to disagree with anyone’s parents, but I fail to see how any of that would be un-American.

I applaud the College Republicans’ support of our nation’s veterans and service people, but to suggest that our organization was pitting ourselves against the nation’s troops is more than obscene, even in jest.

One need not look very far on Friday’s opinion page to see State Representative John Kefalas’ article asking the CSU community to spend time on Monday reflecting on the intense sacrifices made by our nation’s service people. This is a task very close to Rep. Kefalas’ heart due to the fact that his son is currently on a third deployment in Afghanistan.

In September, Democratic Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia introduced a bill that would allow for the troops returning home from a deployment to spend at least as much time in garrison as they had served in a combat zone.

This is the kind of tangible support that our troops deserve. A bill of this nature would help to alleviate much of the incredible strain placed on the families of deployed service members, lifting morale.

It was voted down by Republicans.

Veterans Day is a chance to remember the basic freedoms that we often take for granted were built upon the blood, sweat and tears of our nation’s veterans.

Our veterans have fought for a democracy that allows us to speak and write as we please. The plaza’s inflatable donkey was there in the hope that CSU students would be encouraged to participate in the political process, to be a part of our democracy.

The United States Military is an institution older than the country itself, and the CSU Democrats feel it is necessary to exercise the freedoms we have been blessed with, so the extreme cost paid by the incredible men and women in uniform will not have been in vain.

Brendan Durkin is sophomore political science major. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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