Saturday, September 27, 2014

My Alma Mater Is A Banana Republic

This is a recent op-ed I wrote for the Eagle. They declined to publish it, because they're worried about more political interference from the Student Senate, but I figured I'd post it here because it's important to push back against the hypocritical fascist bastards trying to shut down free speech on campus.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution reads, in part, that "the freedom of the press shall not be abridged." The unifying principle of patriotism in America is not race, nor allegiance to a monarch, but allegiance to the Constitution; this is judged so important to the body politic that the military (including ROTC officers) are made to swear to "uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States." Thomas Jefferson, who knew a thing or two about the Constitution, famously said "I would rather newspapers without government than a government without newspapers."

Chadron State College's experience with both has proven the sage of Monticello correct once again, as the People In Charge try anew to forget that the Constitution was forged to bind them.

There was a letter to the editor last week regarding the propriety of a comic that joked about using Eaglecards to take drugs. The people whose job it is to promote Chadron State to prospective students got upset at this article, because apparently a tongue-in-cheek joke that upsets the authorities is going to destroy our enrollment figures. As we all know, the students thinking about coming here are going to see a joke about drugs, clutch their pearls and drop into a fainting couch.

First off, might I point out that if we're paying some bureaucrat real, spendable money to market us in this way, we're getting robbed by amateurs.

It would be ludicrous to claim that the Eagle's editorial independence is the only factor, or even one of the main factors, affecting admission rates. But insofar as that claim goes, after a year in which the Eagle took the Student Senate to task for breathtaking incompetence, we've had the third-largest incoming freshman class in CSC history. I'm pretty sure anyone looking for a career in journalism will be excited to come here instead of some diploma mill printing the party line. Furthermore, I'm sure that the rest of the student body appreciates a paper that will air their views, whether the administration or the Student Senate likes those views or not, over a paper that lets itself be censored by a marketing department that never took Marketing 101.

I would love for anyone involved in this decision to explain why they think the First Amendment deserves to be ignored, and furthermore to explain why they deserve to continue to draw a paycheck from our tuition. I'm not holding my breath, though; illiberality hates daylight, and incompetence hates it with a passion.

You might think this an overreaction to some silly little comic, but this isn't about a comic. This is about upholding and defending the Constitution; about the editorial independence of our student newspaper; about its right to air the views of you, me, and anyone, independent of official censorship. This editorial independence has been under attack over the years; Student Senate routinely threatens to cut the Eagle's budget whenever they expose corruption therein, and that corruption isn't insignificant. Two years ago, with the help of a campus apparatchik that's since mercifully found employment elsewhere, they overruled constitutional procedure in Student Senate. Last year, to reward themselves for that bang-up job, they spent our student activity fees on a "leadership conference" in New Orleans, because God has a sense of humor.

Even after losing a student presidential election over their malfeasance, one of their number has the temerity to scold the Eagle for a drug joke that's nothing compared to what he surely hears every day in ROTC. Why is someone who's sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States now trying to undermine it? And why are aspects of the college administration ganging up with corrupt student politicians to muzzle the best student newspaper in Nebraska?

The "State" in "Chadron State College" is Nebraska, not North Korea, and everyone involved in this attempt to silence student voices should be ashamed of their un-American behavior.

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