An Open Letter to the New Students for a Democratic Society
After the media accounts of your early March campus protests, I couldn’t help but feel deeply moved. But with misleading headlines like “Students Protest Tuition Hikes” and “A Day of Protests Over Education Budget Cuts,” I felt a sense of sympathy for you at the media’s failure to transmit your true vision for this country. I think it’s important to express to the world how you really feel, and to more acutely define your objectives.
Having watched videos of the protests, I have a much clearer picture of your intentions than those expressed by the mainstream media. In fact, I think the student you chose to speak on your behalf at the Detroit protest best articulated your points of view.
First, I like how he attempted to educate the crowd, saying: “There’s a lot of misinformation out there about socialism, and, uh, anarchism, and different, you know, isms.” I couldn’t agree more, although I would not have paired socialism with its near polar opposite of anarchism. I hate it when people misinform others about “isms.”
He continued his lesson, explaining that you “believe in a free university degree … and it’s up to the government to give (you) this free university degree.” He also explained that you believe that you have a human right to a job that would secure you in the middle class. His logic followed that there too exists a right to food and a right to a home, and presumably the government must give you these things as well.
Although I enjoyed his speech, I do have a critique that I hope will help you out in the future. First, the aforementioned student and many others of your group have praised the former Soviet Union. You may want to note that, in general, freedom-loving Americans don’t look at Communist Russia as an example toward which we should strive. Your lack of knowledge on this issue is probably not your fault -- there must have been university budget cuts for the history classes that could have taught you what life in the Soviet Union was actually like. However, you may want to look up information about the food shortages, the government seizure of all private property, and the mass executions as a few examples of Communist Russia that don’t excite most Americans.