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KEVIN BENDER, San Clemente

Young people like Jackson Hinkle should be praised for seeking a career in public service, not berated as arrogant with radical views.

One of our greatest “American values” is our right to protest. However, take a knee during the National Anthem to support “Black Lives Matter,” and you are labeled “anti-military” or “anti-police.” Raise a fist outside an immigration office to protest family separation and the caging of undocumented immigrants, and you are for “open borders.”

My first time at the polls in 1972, I voted for presidential candidate George McGovern and “yes” for proposition 13 to legalize marijuana. Both went down to defeat. My parents said my views were radical and that I wasted my vote. A few years later, President Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace and today, marijuana is legal in California.

Then, I was a liberal young man voting in a hopelessly red Orange County. Today, I am a liberal old man voting in a progressively blue Orange County.

Keep up the good fight, Jackson, and remain true to your American values. After all, you are only 20 years old. Time is on your side.

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