Schwarzenegger's Speech: Let's Listen, Then Judge

In the last few months the word flying around the Santa Monica College campus has been that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will speak during this year's graduation ceremony.

Recently there has also been talk that different student groups want to protest and stop Schwarzenegger from visiting, and that even some of the teachers are willing to take steps in dissuading his visit.

You have to love and respect the liberal Westside of Los Angeles for their outspoken attitude, but what happens once Schwarzenegger is stopped from attending the campus?

Will the teachers and student groups wound his ego, make him realize that he is wrong and send him home sad if they protest? Not likely.

It is probable that an overwhelming negative demonstration might dissuade him from visiting, but does that really accomplish anything, or does it cause more harm than good?

Perhaps these groups think that they can possibly reverse the recall, a total recall-recall-type thing, and prove that no actor / Republican can be the governor of California, even though former President Reagan showed us what is possible if you have vision and intelligence.

In any event the idea of either dissuading him from visiting or barring him from campus seems against the First Amendment rights that any protestor must hold highly in his or her ideals.

Don't think of us as raging Republicans or fanatic Democrats accomplishing a political agenda through publishing this editorial, but instead, as concerned American citizens who think that politics should be separate from education, especially when it has the chance of harming the school, the students and many persons' political ideas on campus.

We quote the late-'80s / early-'90s band Operation Ivy, in their song "Take Warning":

"Take warning, take warning. / No one's got a thing against you, unless you got something to prove / we don't need no new set of standards, we don't need no new set of rules, / man, heard all the s%^# before, not nothing else any different / we say stand together, not to fight just to exist."

In any case when the governor, the president, a member of Congress or a senator wants to visit and support the school - any highly-visible figure for that matter - why wouldn't we want it to happen?

It's not like the governor is feeding us our babies for sustenance or closing schools while he burns books in a prolific crusade against education, but still when he tries to support schools, we turn him away without even listening to his words or reasons.

Let's just forget political leaders in the first place and riot, burn down another section of our bleeding city.

It seems un-American and foolish that we don't wish to hear what our politicians say, almost fascist in ideology and perhaps, because as journalists we are always concerned about the freedom of speech, it seems as if we have backtracked to the days of fiefdoms and charlatans.

Attending college is a privilege for the students at Santa Monica College, a privilege that they also pay for.

For all the teachers at school who want to influence students and their politics we ask, who pays your salary? None other than students and the state, but please though, go ahead and forget who your daddy is really.

For all of the students organizing groups, instead of seeing opportunities for students and their clubs, instead of using it as a jumping board for educating your fellow students, instead of seeing what an honor it is to have a former student as the governor - perform your public outcry and separate people even more - don't create the educational forum that schools should provide.