Monday, January 30, 2006

Can Dissent Be Unpatriotic?

I had a very thoughtful email in response to my comments about Jimmy Carter, whom I stipulated was the worst president ever. Part of the reader's response was that as an "ultra-lefty" he or she was tired of being called unpatriotic for dissenting from the Bush Administration policies. It is difficult to respond to this as I have no idea what kind of dissent has been expressed by the writer, but I will take a stab at it. First let me be clear there is not nor can there be unpatriotic dissent.

Where I think the left goes wrong is in thinking that when they are name calling and flat out lying that they are dissenting. This is of course wrong. When Senator Rockefeller or Senator Kennedy come out against decisions they were consulted on and deny the fact, that is a lie and not dissent. Now, lying is also not unpatriotic. If it were there would be no patriots in the government and there damn few enough now.

Until the left can get over the fact that they must propose something rather than carp, moan, and agonize while ignoring the fact that they are becoming passe, then we will not have dissent only gripes.

What then is dissent? In the modern context it would be statements that George Bush has made poor choices in certain areas, made in such a way as to encourage dialogue. Dissent is not to ignore the actual events as in the who is responsible for the defeat of the Kyoto treaty debate; which was defeated 99-0 in the Senate prior to Bush being elected. Dissent is trivialized by accusing George Bush of causing hurricanes.

Dissent should propose a reasonable alternative. Simply trying to reveal techniques employed by the government to protect the nation, attempting to overturn an election through impeachment (Republicans were guilty of this too), and being thorough dissemblers is not dissent; it is war against the nation itself.

Why don't we see Conservative demostraters protesting the Liberals? Why are fundraising letters 80% scare tactics, why, as an electorate, do we tolerate intellectual dishonesty on both sides? I fear the answer lies in the inability of the general population to think critically or worse they are apathetic to the point of not caring at all. This attitude leaves the field to the wackos on the far left and far right.

The Liberals are going to protect our constitutional rights, especially those made explicit in the constitution. So how do we explain the massacre of the Branch Dividians by Bill Clinton? How do we explain the gutting of private property rights by the expansion of eminent domain? How do we explain Elian Gonzalez being taken from a legal guardian and returned to Cuba? How do we explain the internment of Japanese- American citizens, some second and third generation, during World War II? All these actions were taken by Democrat leadership and any dissent was blithely ignored.

No dear reader dissent can never be unpatriotic in the United States, it is one our core values. The problem arises when only one side is allowed to dissent. Go to a college graduation where a liberal speaker is making the commencement address and see how many conservatives protest, then do the same where a conservative is performing this duty. I think the contrast will be obvious and marked.


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