Opinion: Students are worried about the wrong things

LSU Reveille – by John Ryan McGehee

For the past few weeks, all I have heard discussed at length with any semblance of passion is our embarrassing defeat at the hands of Lucif — ahem, Nick Saban and his Alabama Crimson Tide. Students are acting as though the world has ended.

When there are quite literally thousands of horrible things happening on the planet at this moment, it is incredible that people pay attention to, much less attend, football games. Not to bash football or our Athletic Department, which, by the way, actually gives money back to the University.  

Thanks, y’all.

However, it is painfully clear that students on this campus – and every other in this country for that matter – have seriously misguided and, quite frankly, contemptible priorities.

Think to yourself, when is the last time you gave genuine attention to any issue outside of your personal sphere? Do things like the NSA, the drone war, the drug war, Benghazi, the IRS scandal, insurance cancellations, or the NDAA ring any bells?

The sad fact is, while many of you went glassy-eyed as I rattled those issues off, I’d bet good money that an equal number, if not more, could give me a detailed play-by-play of the “Breaking Bad” series finale.

OK, so it was pretty killer, but therein lies the problem. We pay more attention to these distractions for their entertainment value, and we’re blinding ourselves to the important and occasionally horrifying things happening around us.

So, let me recap why these things I listed are important.

In Benghazi, four Americans, including U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, were killed in an orchestrated assault on our diplomatic consulate. Our then-Secretary of State and presumed presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton, shrieked in Congress, “What difference does it make!” Even to this day, there are more questions than answers, and a woman who simply shrugged off four Americans’ deaths wants to be our commander-in-chief.

At Fort Meade, Md., the National Security Agency has been tirelessly violating your Fourth, and arguably Third Amendment rights. If you have ever used the Internet, your privacy has been violated without a warrant. Also, they have been collecting any and all data from Google and Yahoo! under a recently discovered data-mining program, called “Muscular.”

In Pakistan and Yemen, the U.S. government has been carrying out a drone war against al-Qaeda insurgents that has resulted in the deaths of more than 400 civilians, whose only crime was being in close proximity to people we suspect of terrorism. The drone war has been a major recruiting tool for al-Qaeda, and with every cell leader we kill, dozens more are radicalized.

The National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, gives the Department of Defense its annual budget, and it contains a few alarming sections. One provision allowed the government to indefinitely detain someone without trial, even if they were an American citizen. The measure was struck down by a federal judge, and the administration actually asked her to reconsider her ruling. Uncle Sam wants the power to lock you up and throw away the key.

It was said once in Rome that “the People have abdicated our

duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses.”

That was said by Juvenal, not long before the Roman Republic’s collapse and the short-lived autocratic reign of Julius Caesar. We are on the precipice of our own collapse, and we care more about the football team’s standing in the polls and getting our 50 cent shots at Reggie’s.

Ryan McGehee is a 20-year-old political science, history, and international studies junior from Zachary.


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2 thoughts on “Opinion: Students are worried about the wrong things

  1. Well, don’t worry students, the Tigers are beating “Johnny Football” and the Texas A & M Aggies…but yeah, I don’t know why students get all worked up over football.

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