Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Truth About Dissent

I have a couple of thoughts for my American friends who think that patriotism is best defined by standfast, simpleminded support for a single president's policies:

  • "It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority." -- Benjamin Franklin

  • "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism." -- Thomas Jefferson

  • "All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree." -- James Madison

  • "If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." -- George Washington

Our founding fathers had it right. They knew that authority should be distrusted, even themselves. They knew that freedom of press and of speech were critical elements of our freedom. And they knew that lone voices, crying out against tyranny in whatever form, were the bastion of liberty.

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