Dear fellow VMI Alumni,
I wish to challenge your thinking for a moment. This is going to require that you pretend, to think outside the box, to consider what you believe is impossible.
Pretend for a moment that you are a Republican, but that the majority of your fellow Alumni are Democrats, that the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia is controlled by Democrats, that the Governor is a Democrat, and that the Democratic Presidential candidate has scheduled a speech at VMI to discuss foreign policy.
On one hand you are proud he has chosen your Alma Mater, but on the other hand you are worried will others feel that your Alma Mater is associated with the Democratic Party. You decide what has happened is wrong. Why, because you believe your Alma Mater as an institution of the Commonwealth of Virginia should be neutral?
Despite wondering if Foresman is on drugs, not, at least not since he was Cadet, you are incensed by what I have asked you to pretend. Consider the following:
- As an institution of the Commonwealth of Virginia is it proper for VMI to be involved in partisan politics? How would the General Assembly view this?
- How have other public institutions have handled such situations? See how the University of Virginia handled a request from President Obama.
- VMI as a “military” college is closely associated with the Armed Forces of the United States; if viewed by a Republican administration as an arm of the Democratic Party would it continue to receive the support of the Department of Defense?
I understand that VMI does not solicit political candidates to speak at the Institute. I also understand that VMI does what the Commonwealth of Virginia tells it to do—and if encouraged to allow such a speech it does so.
While most VMI graduates are in sympathy with Mr. Romney speaking at VMI; I have to wonder how many would sympathetic with the Democratic, Libertarian, or Green candidate speaking at VMI. Probably there would be little sympathy.
Think about this before you go head over heels with the fact that so and so a candidate for (fill in the blank) is speaking at VMI.
To be a truly educated man (at least according to Herbert Dillard) one must be willing to think critically.
I am honored that Governor Romney wishes to speak at VMI; however, I wonder from the perspective of VMI is this a wise decision.
BTW: If anyone is interested who I am voting for; all I can say it is neither of the two major candidates.