Thursday, April 26, 2007

A letter of congratulations to the Brigham Young University class of 2008

By Wayne Holland Jr.
Utah State Democratic Chair
VP visit a call to be involved

There's something happening here

What it is ain't exactly clear ...

There's battle lines being drawn

Nobody's right if everybody's wrong ...

-- Buffalo Springfield, "For What It's Worth,"

Not long ago the Big Issues on Campus were about an upcoming accounting quiz, or Coach Mendenhall’s strategy against the Utes, or maybe perfecting the cha-cha at noon at the Wilkinson Student Center.

As you prepare to launch careers and family, another reality is about to intrude. You could not be luckier.

One of the most powerful and historically significant vice presidents in the history of the United States is coming to Provo. And he brings with him a strongly held point of view.

Other controversial speakers have stirred political passions in Utah over the past few years. Michael Moore, Sean Hannity and others. They are sideshow distractions who specialize in political carnival when compared to Dick Cheney.

When the vice president takes the microphone at the Marriott Center shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday, you and your 4,000 fellow graduates should have no illusions: This person has made life and death decisions that have had a profound and lasting impact worldwide. Cheney, as much as any person with the possible exception of the president himself, is responsible for the foreign and domestic policies of the United States of the last six years. He should be held accountable.

The vice president grew up in the West. He went to school at the University of Wyoming. He represented that state in the U.S. House of Representative and has a long and distinguished record of public service. He says he shares our Western values: a devotion to family and faith that sustains through everyday trials, a love of the land, a respect for the dignity of others, and an abiding belief that living together with a common purpose has enabled us to thrive even in the desert.

Is this how he has lived his life, especially the past decade or so?

As Cheney offers advice and inspiration on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, you have an unfiltered opportunity to decide for yourself. Does Dick Cheney’s worldview offer an ethical and moral guide as you “go forth to serve?”

Will Cheney leave a legacy of accomplishment that you will be proud and honored to sustain? Is Cheney’s vision of America the one you will pass to your children? Or will you decide that after only six years in office Cheney, as a leading architect of Bush administration policy, has damaged what it means to be an American? Will you work to mend America?

You will enter a world in need of selfless service. United Way of Salt Lake released a study Tuesday that showed indicators of financial, social, and medical well-being are on the decline in Summit, Tooele, Salt Lake and Davis counties despite our relatively healthy Utah economy. The research echoes trends nationwide. What will you do?

As you watch your friends cross the stage, receive congratulations from President Samuelson, and listen to our vice president, realize that as a citizen of the United States you have an obligation to others.

Some of your fellow students at BYU, like thousands of other college students across the country, have made a decision to let their voices be heard. This is our congratulations on your academic achievements and our invitation to join them in the great American experiment.

A viable democracy requires your participation. On that there is no choice.


Anonymous said...

Class of 2008? What about the class of 2007, which is the one graduating today?

Duh! said...

The class of 2008.

Anonymous said...

This is excellent!