The following letter was written in response to “Fascism Described as ‘Patriotism’” ( Jan. 24, 2008, The Bullet.) and “Finally, American Fascism is Called to Our Attention” ( Jan. 31, 2008, The Bullet.)
In response to the two recent opinion pieces that supported that America’s tendency for nationalism has deconstructed into fascism, I would like to pose to these young men the following questions: Do you think a man or woman in any other country in this world could exercise those same freedoms of speech as those that were used to print these two editorials? Do you think any government other than one structured upon democratic principles would allow you to make such an ineffective decision in the recent utility of your freedoms, and in doing so, also mock its government, its industries, and its leaders?
If the leaders and politicians in this democracy did not work or hold promise to protect our country, we would lose our freedom entirely. There would not be a campus with open-ended, student-intervening policies. There would be no publication of student assumptions that our country, which gave to you your pen, paper, and college education, is turning down this so called “fascist” road.
Perhaps America has seen better leaders in its time. Perhaps our country’s political aims have not always succeeded. However, the United States has done more than any other country to bring to others democracy, economic incentive, and self governance. These actions are made with the hope of bringing a better way of life to people, a life that is taken for granted more and more by our own homeland citizens, many of whom have every upper middle class amenity at their fingertips.
What Ogle and May claim to be a downward spiral toward fascism in this country is in fact the inevitable growth of industrialization and globalization. The industrial, technologically advanced age that we live in is not something America could back out of, nor should we. If we are to back off from the aggressive position that this nation has in world industry, there are countries—China, India, Russia, the UK, Pakistan—that are more than willing to attempt to take our place. It is competition, not fascism, that motivates this industrial development, and running out of oil is the only thing that can propel us to seek alternatives.
There is no fascism in a global competition for free-trade. This is a basic component of capitalism, which is the most tolerant form of government. It is how our own country is driven, and the only reason students like you and I can even hope for the futures that we are working toward. To believe that nationalism for this country is hindering peace and well being is an illogical argument when one has, for his entire life, benefited from that very same system.
With the coming election, let us keep the ludicrous assumptions at bay. World peace is a virtuous ideal, but in this age of technology and industry, it is hard to achieve. We must also face our current situation. Let us take a fair look not only at our hopes for the future, but at the reality of America’s position, nationally and internationally. Let us not believe that a Democrat is the answer simply because our current leader is a Republican. Similarly, let us not think that any other Republican is the answer, either. If the campaigns look like propaganda, look deeper than television broadcasts. It is not the politician with the finest speech, it is he whose plan is plausible, can be reached, and best for the country based on the circumstances.
Brittany DeVries is a junior.