Letter to the Editor:
I agree with Scott Wacholtz in his core message that there is nothing wrong with patriotism and loyalty. There indeed seems to be an unfounded belief that intelligence is inversely proportional to loving your country, and that is a myth that should be dispelled. More people should learn to discern between the sins of the leader and the sins of the people. And he is right; people do tend to make assumptions about people who share his belief in the current administration, without ever giving credit to the abilities and eloquence that the person may indeed possess.
Unfortunately, his article spirals to a condescending, hypocritical mess. Not only does he assume all professors are out of touch and living in a fantasy land, but that every other college student, save him, is but a mere child. He says that it’s OK to criticize the government, then immediately repudiates that by labeling anyone who does so as unpatriotic. He takes this further, and implies that because of his military service he is somehow superior to anyone who hasn’t.
I respect that he served in our armed forces, but that does not make him intrinsically superior to me or anyone else. The phrase “All men are created equal” was not creating something new so much as it was pointing out a fact. He also forgets that we live in a democracy, which means that we elect a President to represent the majority of our voices. The difference between a President and a Dictator is that, through our government, the President serves the people and their best interests-not the other way around. When a man we consider equal to the task steps into the office, he does not become our Glorious and Perfect Leader, he becomes our voice in the world and our guide at home. No matter what he does he will always incur the disapproval of someone, and that is OK. It is when the voices of those people accrue to the point that they are massively heard that our political system reacts accordingly and by the next election reorganizes itself in such a manner that it will be once again in accord with the voice of the majority.
Criticizing the President is not just a right, it is a perfectly natural part of the system, as is praising him. We all serve and love our nation by being the best citizens we can be, and by no other measure. Getting paid to kill our enemies is as noble a vocation as teaching.
Wacholtz is right, we cannot believe ourselves superior to others; everyone deserves an equal chance to be respected and heard. But he only took the time to prove that he is just as quick to pass judgment and believe himself superior, which is a shame. Patriotism is indeed not a dirty word, not even when spoken by others who don’t think exactly like him.
Endre Enyedy is a senior and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.