The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Letter to the Editor

By Jeremiah Reedy

To the Editor:What a wonderful place Macalester is! Here emeriti, staff, and alumni do not hesitate to enter into dialogue with students and faculty. In two recent letters, Margaret Beegle of the Institute for Global Citizenship inveighed against the Bush administration. She calls Bush and Cheney “illegitimate,” accuses them of “unleashing” atrocities, of destroying our democracy, of showing contempt for the law, both U.S. and international, and of “exacting dire consequences for the environment,” among other things. As a result of the Bush/Cheney “crime spree,” according to Ms. Beegle, we Americans are “nothing more than slaves and cannon fodder.”

There is much heat in these letters, but little light. Americans disagree on how to apply due process to citizens accused of complicity in international terror. Likewise, Americans have divided opinions about the war in Iraq, surveillance of international phone calls between citizens and al-Qaeda operatives, and where to draw the line in interrogating captured terrorists. As it happens, we have a pretty good forum for discussing these differences: national elections.

Ms. Beegle, “mystified” that the American people are not as riled as she is would like to raise the temperature by having a “general strike” and putting Macalester on record as supporting what many of us view as a wildly imprudent political gambit. Not even the leaders of the Democratic Party-no friends of George Bush-want to hold impeachment hearings.

President Rosenberg has recently reminded us of the proper role of a liberal arts college. Macalester is not a political party or an organization created to advance partisan positions or to disseminate propaganda. It exists to advance knowledge and understanding through disciplined inquiry. In times of public excitement, a good liberal arts college ought also to stand for the long view. Joining in the political frenzy of the extreme Left in American politics might appeal to some in the Macalester community, but the net effect would be to damage the College, both in substance and in reputation.

John Stuart Mill wrote that “War is a terrible thing, but not the most terrible.” Mill didn’t give examples, as I recall, but, as George Bush knows, many things are worse than war, e.g. genocide, slavery, living under a cruel and inhumane regime and living in constant fear of a nuclear attack in New York, a dirty bomb in Chicago or an attack with biological weapons at the Mall of America.

Jeremiah Reedy
Professor of Classics, Emeritus

View Comments (8)
More to Discover

Comments (8)

All The Mac Weekly Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • J

    Jason WatsonSep 11, 2019 at 2:13 am

    Of course, what a splendid site and informative posts, I surely will bookmark your website.Best Regards!

  • F

    Faith GraySep 9, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    I am now not certain where you are getting your information, however good topic. I must spend some time learning much more or figuring out more. Thanks for great information I used to be looking for this information for my mission.