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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Rocky Anderson is disgraceful

By Aaron Zundel

I believe in the freedom of speech.

In this country, a person should (and does) have the right to say whatever he or she wants. Period. But doesn’t having the right to do something also carry with it the obligation to do it responsibly? Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson doesn’t seem to think so.

In his address to anti-Bush protesters on Wednesday, Anderson caustically declared that President Bush had “betrayed” the country and the peace process, then proceeding to lead a march to the federal building.

What a classless reptile.

As the mayor of a city hosting the president of the United Sates of America-an office that deserves respect under ANY circumstance-Anderson ought to have swallowed personal grievance and graciously welcomed the commander in chief to the city. Instead, Anderson caved to his baser, media-whore nature and decided to make headlines.

He must assume that after his tenure in office, the position of Salt Lake City mayor doesn’t have any dignity left in it.

Anderson aside, it smacks of an ingratitude when a bunch of well-fed, well-educated, and all-around relatively well-to-do people stage a protest whilst the American Legion, a group of veterans who fought for and served their country, is in town. The act makes me scratch my head and wonder how the protesters can claim with a straight face that they support the troops. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve heard a more disingenuous statement in my entire life. The protesters’ blatant disregard for the organization and veterans who’ve come to our home is a revealing example of their so-called “support.”

It’s always interesting to me that in a society where the far left is constantly comparing the Iraq War to the Vietnam War, the only similarities I can find are in the far-left protesters. Sure, times have changed a few things between then and now-for example, the protesters don’t spit on soldiers any more. But don’t be fooled, a lot of the people who claim to “support the troops” now were the same ones spitting on soldiers in 1970-they’ve just come to the realization that they don’t want to lose ALL credibility this time.

To stem off the tide of letters I’m sure to receive, I want to state right now that I do not advocate silence about or blind acceptance of our government’s policies. I’m of the frame of mind that when something is wrong, people have an obligation to speak out. It’s one of the many rights we have as citizens that makes this country great. In truth, if those people at the protests have genuine issues, then I encourage them to pursue real political action. But there are other, less petty, more effective ways of discourse than sensationalized protests. Ways that are not as demoralizing to our troops and are less emboldening to our enemies. Ways that will get more done than just polarize a city?or a nation.

I hope that in the future, any people who attended such protests might re-evaluate their behavior and use the rights they have been given responsibly. However, even if they don’t, I support their right to continue voicing dissent, despite my own disagreements. Because I believe in the freedom of speech. Unlike many protestors, however, I believe in America.

Aaron Zundel

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