Letter to the editor

    Editor:

    I am amazed at the liberties Jessica Lingel took in her May 19 article. From title to conclusion, it is full of inaccuracies and a few simply ignorant or at-best uninformed statements. Starting with the title “”Militaristic Image is Disturbing: Bush has damaged civilian tradition,”” I wonder of which civilian tradition she is speaking.

    A brief glance at the historical record would shatter any conception of a tradition that could be categorized as “”civilian.”” The very first power of the president enumerated in Article II of the Constitution is that of commander in chief of the military. Our first and arguably most beloved and revered president was one of our most celebrated military figures: George Washington. Is Lingel not aware of the military tradition furthered by such presidents as Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson? The list of presidents who have not served in the military is quite short.

    I found it utterly shocking that she would state, “”There is not a single picture in the archives of history showing Kennedy or Eisenhower in military dress.”” Was she not aware that JFK was a Navy lieutenant during World War II and that Eisenhower was a five-star general during the same war after already serving in World War I? Lingel is flat-out wrong when she states that there are no pictures in the archives of history showing either in military dress.

    By calling Bush’s historic carrier landing a mere PR stunt, she does what many of her like-minded leftist colleagues do: ignores the men and women who serve in the military. While she may simply see it as a photo opportunity, the crew aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln and the rest of the U.S. Armed Forces (not to mention the majority of Americans) saw it as an honor and an incredible morale boost to those who serve. Let us not forget that the Lincoln was returning from 10 months at sea, the longest deployment in decades. The honor of having the president not only visit your ship, but arrive like the heroes of the war in Iraq, and to trust the pilots in one of the most difficult tasks of aviation is awe inspiring and far more than just PR.

    A huge part of politics is public relations. To ignore that would be an extraordinarily ignorant mistake. Bush was not going on a bombing raid, he was visiting a ship. Those on the left crying foul are showing their ignorance of what motivates those serving under our Commander in Chief. And while I am not surprised at Lingel’s opinion, I am shocked at her narrow and uninformed view of American history and the role of the president.

    — Evan Rowley

    Earl Warren College junior

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