Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Yellow Ribbons at the University of Oregon

I’d heard about this, but hadn’t given it much thought. It seems that someone at the University of Oregon complained about one of those magnetic yellow "Support Our Troops" ribbons (like the one on my car) that was affixed to a truck driven by a campus maintenance worker. The truck belongs to the University, not to the worker. The University decided to enforce a law prohibiting "political" statements on publicly-owned vehicles.

Fair enough. I’m not sure that I’d like to see a lot of state-owned cars, in Oregon or elsewhere, serving as rolling billboards for the personal opinions of the employees. (How many members does the AFSCME have?) But to be "fair," shouldn’t the University of Oregon also ban the posting of personal political opinions on other forms of University property, like faculty office doors?

Discussions - 6 Comments

Since when is "support out troops" a political statement. If the university said "we don’t want anything on our vehicles other than plates and registrations" OK. But to give this as the reason is reasching. I saw a lot of cop cars with MADD stickers, and JUST SAY NO TO DRUGS sitckers on them, and no one walked around offended by those messages. Some people are offended where no offence was intended. Why to the many need to cator to the wackiness of the few?

This is a common response, and I certainly sympathize with the argument that politics should stop at the water’s edge. But who gets to define what’s political and what isn’t (and then enforce prohibitions based upon that distinction)?

The University of Oregon President has issued the following statement: "Whether the message is Support Our Troops, Fund Cancer Research or Support Tsunami Relief, employees may not place personal stickers or magnets on state-owned vehicles."

But who gets to define what’s political and what isn’t

Uh, common sense?

In the university setting, pervaded as it is by "theory," we have a lot of hard work to get back to common sense.

Wish us luck.

Wow, all of this "common sense" talk is so very enriching. Let me guess, one is utilizing or displaying common sense when they express conservative viewpoints such as those common here at NoLeftTurns, but anything else is NOT common sense, right?

I think the support our troop stickers are political. The stickers along with yard signs were quick responses to the voices calling for no military action, Bush to offer restraint (etc., the exact thing depends on where one falls along the continuum of not supporting military action or at least not unilateral). In the more political active parts of my metro area, there was a veritable battle of yard signs--"support our troops and President" versus "No to War." Am I not exercising "common sense" if I see a connection to political and ideological views in this yard sign battle? An analysis of public conversations on the various pundit-type shows would corroborate that people supporting US actions quickly tried to turn the conversation into "you don’t support our troops."

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