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Patriots and parrots: imprisoning tongues in america - politics


It can be dodgy to engage in free speech. This year alone, 242 journalists, in countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, have been tossed into jail for their words, and one has been killed.

Here at home, our bodies continue free, but our tongues are imprisoned. As Dan Fairly acknowledged after 9/11, "Patriotism has run amok. " Reminiscent of Joe McCarthy's "red hysteria," we are told to shut up, greeting the flag, and celebrate White House guidelines for the duration of this "war on terror. " Or else we risk being branded un-American.

Political joker Bill Maher was in public skewered and lost his show "Politically Incorrect. " The Dixie Chicks were plucked off the radio, and a 33,000 pound tractor was used to crush their CDs in a communal protest. The most modern dead person in the "word witch hunt" is Academia of Colorado professor Ward Churchill who likened some World Trade Core victims to Nazi administrator Adolf Eichmann, and who may lose his tenured attitude as a result. A amount of journalists in America have lost their jobs.

Rather than appraise the flaws or virtues of their controversial speech, I will award three questions for additional reflection.

First, is it devoted to parrot the cheers choreographed by a Commander-in-Chief? Or was Thomas Jefferson acceptable when he wrote, "Dissent is the maximum form of patriotism"?

If one believes our nation's policies to be in error, isn't the path of courage to speak out, the path of fearfulness to continue silent? Must one go down with the Titanic, if one may have a policy for custody it afloat, at any rate of how much it might difficulty or madden the other passengers? Is it achievable that those who have been demonized for uttering so-called disloyal words are in some way assisting our country, whether for right or wrong, charitable us a perspective that we may have if not overlooked?

Perhaps the candor of dialect amendment is First as the capacity to speak openly is by and large what it means to be American. The paradox is that the most forthright polemicist can be both daringly loyal and yet demonized as a traitor. In fact, two true patriots can at hand completely conflicting point of view at the same time. Parrots, on the other hand, have only one common line.

Secondly, is the "war on terror" certainly a war, and how does this brunt choice of speech? Traditionally, wars are armed conflicts among autonomous states; now we have confirmed war on an emotion, terror. Our soldiers are fighting and dying, but as the war is anti "terror," it can never end. Terror, like drugs and poverty, cannot be fully eliminated. Since the argue cannot end, does our silence never end? Can we never again speak anti U. S. policy?

Thirdly, is it likely that slurs heading for at those for their "lack of patriotism" are nil more than supporting maneuvers, meant to gain power and disgrace one's opponents? Democrats also use this tactic adjacent to Republicans, such as when Michael Moore said, "They are not patriots. They are hate-riots. "

Yet, Republicans are viewed as the more nationalistic party, thus enjoy superior achievement with this marginalizing technique. We ought to beware of suspicious labels and biased motives that reduce in importance ones biased adversaries to the enemy's cave, to a conspiratorial pact with Bin Laden.

For each creature whose communication is targeted, there are no doubt hundreds, if not thousands, who censor innovative opinion ahead of attempting to offer them in the souk of ideas.

The next time you hear the word "unpatriotic" or "un-American" tossed about, do not accept. Question. Think about censorship and self-censorship. Think about whether you want our fatherland to have a affix menu of bread and water or one catalog many appetizing dishes.

Think about whether you have faith in in Voltaire's idea, "I may criticize of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" or Ari Fleisher's idea that all Americans must "watch what they say" in this time of crisis.

Think about whether you want a land of parrots or one of patriots.

Charlotte Laws, Ph. D. is a syndicated columnist, a associate of the Better Valley Glen Association and the leader of the League for Earth and Being Defense (LEAP). Her following website is http://www. CharlotteLaws. org


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