"If no one was fighting the battle of ideas on college campuses, it wouldn't matter how many soldiers we had enlisted. Remember Vietnam?"
Roger Custer, a Program Officer of the conservative Young America's Foundation, was recently quoted in a Financial Times article entitled "Republican students on the march for Bush's 'just war' in Iraq". In the article Mr. Custer talks about students rebelling against the liberal establishment.
Even though he graduated in 2004, Mr. Custer, a former chairman of the Ithaca College Republicans, still feels that fighting liberal bias on campus is very important.
As important as the battles of a uniformed soldier? Apparently, read his responses to our inquiry:
>Subject: Financial Times Article>
>Dear Mr. Custer, Congratulations on your being selected for a quote in an article for the Financial Times. It is a very well spoken point, and speaks to our goal as well. We are a grassroots organization dedicated to helping with current military recruiting difficulties. Would it be alright if we use your quote to show how many young Americans are behind the president? Also, have you considered a military career, possibly even enlisting? You certainly have the right attitude! Please let us know about the quote and how you feel about a military career,
>You are doing good work, but right now I am working in the conservative movement on college campuses, teaching young people about the virtues of our country, free markets, smaller government, strong national defense, and traditional values. I'm very happy and not interested in a military career at this time. Please feel free to use my quote - it's public information.
>To: Roger Custer
>Subject: RE: Financial Times Article
>Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 23:55:22 -0700 (PDT)
>That seems a little frivolous in a time of war. Campus bake sales and Feminazi posters are all childish fun, I suppose, but if a vocal, conservative Bush supporter like yourself can't be bothered, who is supposed to serve?
I can't think that anyone who stays stateside would have any serious political aspirations for the future. What do you tell people about the glaring hole in your resume during the Iraq war?
Roger Custer <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
If this is how you are recruiting people for the military - by insulting them with uninformed opinion - you are not going to get very far in your campaign.
Wars are not won only by unformed soldiers. If no one was fighting the battle of ideas on college campuses, it wouldn't matter how many soldiers we had enlisted. Remember Vietnam?
I wish you the best of luck in your campaign, but advise you to change your
methods if you're going to have any success at all...
One example of Mr Custer's battle scars:
"...Custer used a churlish ad from his sheaf of YAF samples to help create a crude flyer for a Bay Buchanan speech, also partly funded by YAF. "Feminazis Beware," the ad blared. "Your Nuremburg is coming." The campus erupted as only campuses can. Protests were held; tears were shed; one kid left the board of the Ithaca College Republicans in protest.
During Buchanan's speech, a co-president of a campus antihomophobia group became enraged when Buchanan told protesters, "You need to get a life. Get a sense of humor. Feminazi is a fun word."
Mr. Custer signs up for the treacherous Campus Bake Sale Corp: