Dick Cheney Is Evil

To the Editor: There are few absolute moral certainties. Whenever something is labeled in such simple terms as “good” and “evil,” any intelligent critic must question the legitimacy of the title. Also, morals and values are subject to the times, but from the viewpoint of a level-minded American in the year 2003, the statement “Apartheid was evil” is as close to a moral truth as one will find. Apartheid, the system of unequal racial segregation that lasted for over 40 years in South Africa, was evil. In 1980, there were 19 million blacks and 4.5 million whites in S. Africa. Whites owned 87% of the land; on average, whites made 14 times more money than blacks; there was one doctor for every 400 whites and one doctor for every 44,000 blacks. The infant mortality rate for whites was 2.7%; for blacks, it was 20% in the urban population and 40% in rural populations. The annual expenditure on white students was $695; $45 for black students. Actually, the statement, “Apartheid is evil,” said in 1980, also seems to be an absolute. In fact, one must question anyone who supported the government which put Apartheid in place and maintained it. In fact, in this land, home to the free and the brave, anyone who openly supported such an evil institution should be tarred and feathered and exiled to France. Yet instead of doing that, we made him Vice-President. Yes, unfortunately-sadly, despicably-while others in our government tried to put pressure on the S. African government to end Apartheid and free Nelson Mandela from prison, Cheney did not budge. At least 10 times between 1983 and 1988-while Cheney was a Republican congressman from Wyoming-he voted against any steps to oppose Apartheid. In 1985, he voted against a House resolution urging the release of Nelson Mandela. Now in Cheney’s defense, it must be pointed out the reason why he supported the South African government-the United State’s economic ties. Well, I guess that’s not much of a defense. The relatively small economic advantages that came with America’s relations with a small country excuse the support to a brutal, racist regime? Apartheid is evil. Dick Cheney was in a position of power to oppose Apartheid, but he did not. He worked and voted to strengthen the ties between the United States and the regime in S. Africa. Does that then make Dick Cheney evil? An evil by association? In everything I’ve been taught and experienced, the answer is yes. Dick Cheney is evil. Not evil in the Devil incarnate or Saddam Hussein’s son way-but far too evil to represent America. Far too evil to be given the type of power and responsibility that comes with his role as the Vice-President. Well, it’s too late to change things now. Just please keep this in mind when voting in 2004.Jeffrey HastingsClass of 2004