Editorial (of sorts) by me...
(Attributed to Voltaire)
I am happy to say that I am finally getting an occasional letter on my web page expressing contrasting views. I would like to see more of this and more of a balance.
Some people still don't get the idea that we should allow people to express their views, whether we agree with them or not. The First amendment to our Constitution was written, not to protect popular speech, but rather unpopular speech. The founders of our country knew what tyranny was like, and wanted to write in some assurances that we would not succumb to tyranny in this country. Criticism of our government, the people who run it, and our politicians are an American tradition. It is a right guaranteed all of us.
I had a letter written to me criticizing some of the content in my web page. Mind you this criticism was certainly this person's right. Not only that, but some of the points that were raised were and are quite valid. Quote: speech can be detrimental, if its only intent is to cause harm. Personal attacks are wrong, and in reading some of my web page letters and barbs, I see were they might be construed as personal attacks.
On the other hand, I do not think that expressing contrary or dissenting opinions are wrong or detrimental. Should we accept only opinions that we agree with? This is the major difference between a free Democracy and a police state. This also is why it is important to make people aware of some of the restrictions that may be put on them by well meaning legislators. People should all have an opportunity to express their points of view. I have a disclaimer on my web page: "Views on my web page may be critical of me, my web page, and anyone else." If it is a public person, then political free speech has even more protections than speech involving individuals. See U.S. Supreme Court Times Vs Sullivan March 9, 1964. All I ask is that people show a modicum of decency in what they post.
Please keep writing me letters, barbs, songs. Agreeing with me is not important, what is important is that you feel free to speak out and say what you believe.
This, my friends, is one of the great differences between our system of government and much of the world. This is one of the things that makes our country great.
I may not agree with what you say,
but I would defend to the death your right to say it. -