The expatriate is back in town, in Miami, in Florida, in the great, free bastion of liberty, my United States. What do I find when I flick on the no-longer-flickering eye of the TV? A young man, a muchacho, a student with a hint of serious in his demeanor approaching the podium at the old but un-respected University of Florida. He insists on questioning Senator John Kerry after the politician had given his views and opened the floor for questions.
The U of F has never been regarded as an academic school. It has been noted for its varsity sports teams, called “gators,” and the invention of designer water. I remember my uncle's graduation when I was about 3 or 4 but only the red-brickness of the campus. It had, for a time, a great photography department, after I had left another poor Florida state university for an academic college in New York that revels in the protection of liberty, freedom and constitutionalism in an atmosphere of academic freedom firmly protected from the ever-present threat of interference.
Waves of paranoia roll across the American landscape at regular intervals. Each has threatened our liberties. There were reactions to the Tories who wanted to tie us to King George, southern spies who would have enslaved our history and Japanese to store in the Nisei concentration camps out west. Each was a good excuse to protect ourselves by giving away our rights in exchange for “security”.
Now there is a world of Arabs waiting to destroy all of western civilization, to explode themselves in murderous frenzies against women, children and random men. No question but that they are there and do want to bathe the world in blood. But does that mean that America must give up everything that made us free in order to protect ourselves from the forces of evil?
Today Andrew Meyer, a University of Florida student did that which students are supposed to do. He thought about politics, about candidates, about the nature of democracy and about his vote and he barged up to the podium in that party school and attempted to engage Senator Kerry in a discussion. Yes. He became heated and took more than his minute and that catapulted him into his 15 minutes of international fame.
Said John Kerry, “He barged to the front of the line and started to ask questions.” Yes, he did. Bad boy. Shoot him.