Sunday, May 16, 2010

Political Dissent: Patriotic or anti-American?

by j. wright~

As published recently in the Cadillac News, Cadillac, MI

Seton Motley, writing in says, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan wrote in a 1996 article entitled Private Speech, Public Purpose: The Role of Governmental Motive in First Amendment Doctrine that "redistribution of speech is not itself an illegitimate end" for government. Ms. Kagan also asserts that government can restrict speech if it believes that speech might cause harm, either directly or by inciting others to do harm.

Quoting Peg Kaplen on, "Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism. So we were told just a few short years ago. When we had a Republican president, those on the left constantly reminded us that speaking out against the government was our right, a higher calling - and that criticism of such was anti-American and wrong."

Remember When Dissent Was Patriotic? When doing it didn't mean you were a zealot or an extremist or a Nazi? Hillary Clinton once thought debate and dissent were patriotic. Or, at least, she did back in 2003 when she said, "I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this (Bush) administration somehow you're not patriotic. We should stand up and say we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration." I totally agreed with then Senator Clinton. But unless I’m mistaken, anymore it seems like this Freedom of Speech thingy established by the Founders in our Constitution depends wholly on who is speaking, or who is currently occupying the White House, or who controls the legislative branches of our government.

When Supreme Court nominee Kagan is confronted with her own words during the upcoming Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, what do you suppose her answers will reflect today? Will she, like President Obama, lament too that “information becomes a distraction?”


  1. My only question is will the country survive the next 2 1/2 years?

  2. Great queston, Lynn... often repeated in my circle of friends.

    Good looking photo up there BTW!