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Dudley C. Wells, Twin Valley, Minn., Published May 18 2013

Letter: Ayers vs. Rove? I’ll choose Ayers

I agree with The Forum’s April 26 editorial – and the accompanying cartoon – about William Ayers’ invitation to speak at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He came as a man with an impressive 40-year career in education, not as a terrorist.

It appears to me that most of the brouhaha over his visit is a spillover from the 2012 election. Right-wingers dug deep into the past to unearth Ayers’ student activism and use it in a smear campaign against the president: Barack Obama, guilty by association with a “known terrorist.”

Personally I do not believe that the Weathermen ever sank to the level of terrorism because they deliberately avoided hurting anyone. Their quarrel was clearly with government policy, not with people. And like the Students for a Democratic Society, the Weathermen, despite their overzealous methods, were on the side of democracy, fighting the out-of-control international militarism of the U.S. government.

Not too long ago, Concordia College had Karl Rove on campus as a speaker. Rove’s stated goal has been to inaugurate 30 years of uninterrupted political dominance for conservatives. In the last election, his organization raised more than $300 million and spent it on ads to elect conservative candidates. Reportedly he was apoplectic when his candidates lost. In my opinion, if Bill Ayers was an enemy of the state, then Karl Rove is every bit a foe of democracy.

At Concordia, as reported in The Forum, Rove received a standing ovation for justifying the war in Iraq by saying that “Saddam Hussein was an evil man, and the world is a better place without him.” If that kind of superficial, uncritical thinking represents the results of a typical Concordia educations, then I am doubly glad my degree is from MSUM.