Response to Barnacle Bob on The People's Republic of Seabrook
Barnacle Bob commented on the People's Republic of Seabrook blog entry (excerpt from his comments):
Operation Yellow Elephant is nothing more than a single, flimsy talking point taken to ad nauseum extremes. The purpose of their existence is to loudly and rudely allege hypocrisy, but they seek to stifle the free expression of any student who both supports the war, yet chooses not to volunteer. They are in fact practicing hypocrisy themselves. I support a woman’s right (and a man’s) to choose not to volunteer for military service and I support their right to express their opinions on world affairs. Apparently these Operation Yellow Elephant people don’t.
It’s one thing to criticize other students’ views or engage in an intelectual debate over political opinion. It’s a different story when one’s argument begins and ends with “If you’re going to say that, you shouldn’t be here.”
The comment period on the blog has expired, so here's our response:
Well, Operation Yellow Elephant disagrees with you. We include conservatives, liberals and everything in between, because our goal is to save our governing party as well as the current Administration and, indeed, our great nation.
A short, catchy motto doesn’t include the fine print: While we support everyone’s right to share their opinions, if they are eligible to serve and support the war, we also Ask The Question of whether they have considered serving in our military. [The key word is “consider.”]
Everyone has a right to express an opinion, but respect for one’s opinion is not a right; it must be earned. Part of earning that respect is full disclosure of relevant personal conflicts of interest, to wit: Do you support the war only if “other people” actually fight it?
You should know that very few College Republicans we contact actually have the guts to Answer The Question once we’ve asked it. If they are too ashamed of themselves to state whether they have considered military service, or to explain why they chose not to volunteer, well, they’re not working too hard to persuade America to support their point of view.
And that’s their decision, not Operation Yellow Elephant’s.