Every Saturday at the intersection of College Avenue and Mulberry Street, one can witness an important dialogue taking place. The crowd tops out at a couple dozen people on particularly nice afternoons.
This past weekend, there were hundreds in the streets protesting the war in Iraq on its third anniversary.
But this is among the only outward evidence in our town that our country is involved in a war based on “bad intelligence” at best, and deception at worst. There has been scandal after scandal, but each seems to pass more quickly than the last.
Have we been desensitized?
The Patriot Act was reauthorized. Our rights have been compromised and our federal government, which Americans have proudly distrusted since the country’s creation, is becoming increasingly powerful and unfettered.
We “accidentally” found out about domestic wiretapping. Stunningly, or maybe predictably, the country is split on whether our government should be “Big Brother.”
President Bush has outlawed freedom of speech at his rallies – agents seize and throw out people wearing clothing that bears anti-administration messages.
It’s all happening with little fanfare. And little dialogue.
A couple dozen people on the streets – a couple hundred on this war’s anniversary and on the heels of these great disgraces.
Are these the only idealists our college town has left? Are these the only ones who care?
We commend those few of you who do take interest in and responsibility for our country.
But if our college years are supposed to be some of our most politically active and idealistic, we are worried for the future. Especially looking back on CSU’s politically charged history, mottled with massive rallies and protests covering topics ranging from wars and military operations to civil rights.
We urge you to educate yourself and draw a line in the sand. Fight for something. It’s your constitutional right to protest and advocate a cause.
For now, at least.
T.S. Eliot in his 1925 poem, “The Hollow Men,” mused on the doom of humanity:
“This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.”