Opinion

Dissent as patriotism, contention as progress

Saturday's 9/11 memorial was scarcely attended. Ivan Rocha // Online Editor

This weekend, our news feeds will be cluttered with eulogies of “Never forget 9/11.” But like the American flags waving on every car window, so too will these status updates fade into oblivion, revealing their inherent shallowness.

I do not accept this. In fact, I have a challenge for you: If you say you’ll never forget 9/11, back it up!

As Americans, we have access to information; our elected representatives are accountable to us, and we may protest. In short, we have the capability to become an extremely informed citizenry at the vanguard of democracy. Sadly, most Americans don’t. That makes it crucial for you to do so.

Start by educating yourself. Learn about Islam. Learn about global hot spots. Learn about the strategy behind our “War on Terror.” Bottom line: knowledge is power, specifically the power to transform your petty opinions into persuasive arguments.

After you’ve learned enough to make your opinion worth listening to, ensure that this will be the case! Call your congressional representative or senator! Hold our legislators accountable. And never be afraid to dissent!

When a Marine I know had to write his own eulogy in case of death, he wrote that he “cherished” the right to dissent. America wasn’t built on slavish obedience, but on often cynical and occasionally violent dissent. If the pundits say we should do this or that, or the President raises the call to arms, don’t get taken for a fool.

It’s easy to wave a flag and “stay the course;” it takes a lot more guts to put yourself at odds with what may seem like the forward momentum of history. But status updates and yellow ribbons don’t cut the mustard. The only way to truly “support the troops” is to ask “why?” It is to question every action, from the overall decision to fight to the strategic considerations. It is to support Department of Defense funding, while scrutinizing pork-barrel spending. It is to demand justification from Congress and the President, and then some.

Or in a word, it is to dissent. Today, we mourn. Tomorrow, we act!

Matt Bosakowski is a senior majoring in political science. He may be contacted at mbosakowski@themiamihurricane.com.

September 12, 2010

Reporters

Matt Bosakowski


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The University of Miami got off to a dream start, but could not hold on against No. 1 and defending ...

Photo Gallery: UM v. Boston College | Feb. 24, 2018 … Click to Continue » ...

Lonnie Walker IV’s 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds remaining capped a 14-point comeback and lifted Miami ...

March is just around the corner; and University of Miami basketball coach Jim Larrañaga wants his pl ...

Erykah Davenport always hated being The Tall Girl. Every class picture, she was in the back row, tow ...

Student a cappella group BisCaydence wins quarterfinals and advances to the next round in the intern ...

A closer look at the University of Miami's executive vice president for business and finance an ...

The popular Christian minister preached to more people than any other evangelist in history. ...

A vigil on the University of Miami campus, organized by UM students who graduated from Marjory Stone ...

The latest speaker in the popular lecture series at the Rosenstiel School, Jeff Goodell, shared insi ...

Lonnie Walker IV's three with 2.4 seconds left propelled Miami past BC at the Watsco Center. ...

No. 24 Miami dropped the second game of a rivalry series with No. 1 Florida Saturday night, falling ...

The Miami women's tennis team got back to its winning ways Saturday afternoon, defeating Georgi ...

The two-time defending ACC indoor champion Miami women could not make it a three-peat on Saturday, b ...

Kevin Arreaga's bronze medal in the men's weight throw led the Canes on Friday in Clemson. ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.