In this letter to the editor, senior computer science major and math and Japanese double minor Riley Kohl of Leesburg, Virginia takes a stand on corruption in our government, the “propaganda machine” of today’s media, and political dissent.
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I feel that this election and other events of the past year or so has truly brought to light just how far the corruption in our government has spread. Most notably, the shocking level of political control over the major media outlets.
I think that all of us, no matter which candidate we support or what side of the aisle we stand on, can agree that the majority of online and televised media outlets have become a propaganda machine for the ruling political ideology and those in high places who subscribe to it. I worry about just how much further this might spread beyond the news outlets.
Fortunately, Virginia Tech has avoided an issue that seems to be plaguing other top universities where majors like politics, sociology, and the liberal arts have become a sort of indoctrination process that seeks to squash dissenting opinions that go against the dominant political ideology. Sometimes I feel as if far too many people are unaware of all of this, or have simply turned a blind eye. What I want above all from this election is for people to resist this apparent slide into conformity, to return to a mindset of tolerance for truly free thinking. I want our country to celebrate its creativity and diversity of opinions, so that we can enjoy the full depth of unrestricted political discourse.
As for specific issues that concern me, I wish that the candidates would push for pay cuts for politicians across the board. I think it’s ridiculous that, for example, senators makes upwards of $170,000 per year and feel that high salaries and the power these roles provide encourage people to seek these positions for personal gain. Our politicians, and by extension our government, should exist to serve and protect the American people. I want political positions to once more be seen as both an honor and an act of service for the people of this country. By taking up the mantle of representative, senator, president, etc. you are swearing to dedicate yourself fully to the good of the American people and to put their well-being and prosperity above your own.
Would you like the opportunity to respond? Submit to firstname.lastname@example.org
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