Exercising the Right of Dissent
Cynthia Tucker reminds us that it isn't unpatriotic to criticize President Bush, his administration, or his decisions. Exercising the right of dissent is so vital to the democratic process that the Bill of Rights enshrines it in the First Amendment.
As Americans, we're supposed to have a deep respect for dissent, to value honest and open government, to believe in truth and justice. Those are among the core values that distinguish us from much of the rest of the world, where tyranny has free rein.
Tucker has harsh words for Zell Miller and others who insist that it's unpatriotic to criticize the war, the mistreatment of prisoners, or the President.
But Mr. Miller is not the only American in full retreat from the nation's core values. So are any number of others, officials and average citizens alike, who have denounced the press, war critics and any other institution or individual who dares present a view that does not reflect the fairy tale version of events that Mr. Bush and his minions, until quite recently, peddled to the public.
Dissenting from injustice is not unpatriotic. It's what we're supposed to do. We have free speech so that we can effect democratic change. Minds have already changed, and that trend makes the voices demanding our silence all the more shrill.
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