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Should America's Citizens Have The Right to Dissent?

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posted on Mar, 18 2006 @ 06:50 PM
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Originally posted by Two Steps Forward

Regarding Smith

Smith, a Democrat, was long the leading opponent of civil rights laws for Blacks
en.wikipedia.org...




This current crop of Democratic "leadership" is a disgrace to the name of the party, imo. They need to be removed before any meaningful change can happen in the party.


I absolutely agree with this statement, though we may differ on the reasons why

If the Democrats are to remain a progressive party, they must accept the fact that this means opposing the selfish interests of corporate America. Unfortunately, the Democrats are so much on the corporate take, that they have redefined themselves as the other corporatist party differing from the Republicans only on social issues. They have betrayed the working people whom they used to represent.

That's what needs to change.

You are absolutely correct in the direction that must be re-established by the Democrats. They should be working with corporate America for the benefit of all (especially us
)

My man objection to this current crop is what they have degenerated into: a Blame Bush Slogan Machine.

I have stated this in another post, but there are two incidents that stand out in my mind: the Democrats standing up and cheering at the SoTU speech when Bush declared that he had been unable to effect Social Security reform (even though he had left everything on the table, including privatization, which the Dem's had most loudly objected to), and when Harry Reid proudly declared "We have killed the Patriot Act", as if that were something to be proud of. As I watched Hillary Clinton standing and cheering at the SoTU, two thoughts raced through my mind: Do we want to present this immature display to the world as our next leader? and, where's your better idea for SS, Hillary?

This isn't an endorsement of the current Republicans, by any means. They have sorely disappointed me in their fiscal irresponsibility, something they once stood for.

Btw, TwoStepsForward, yours was a very informative post.




posted on Mar, 18 2006 @ 07:59 PM
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Although I have more to say about the subject later, I can't because I am caught within the snares of "March Madness". So, I can't focus. But, Two Steps Forward, I just wanted to say that I'm a "she" not a "he" focusing on the New Deal of the Democratic Party.

But more...on both jsobecky's comments and yours after the "madness" ends.

Ceci




[edit on 18-3-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 18 2006 @ 08:20 PM
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It is our right as human beings to disagree. If the government starts screwing it's citizens, then we should be on the White House lawn with picket signs, every one of us. "You don't like it, then try and throw the millions of us in jail." Or we could flood the White House with nasty letters of disaproval.

Nothing wrong with following sensible laws, but we sure as heck don't have to let our leaders crap on us.

Troy



posted on Mar, 19 2006 @ 02:26 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
But, Two Steps Forward, I just wanted to say that I'm a "she" not a "he" focusing on the New Deal of the Democratic Party.

Wow. Do you see a face, or two vases?
I thought he was referring to Howard Smith.

Just goes to show you how important it is to understand where the other person is coming from, eh?



posted on Mar, 19 2006 @ 04:16 AM
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Originally quoted by jsobecky
Wow. Do you see a face, or two vases? I thought he was referring to Howard Smith.


jsobecky, sorry! You know with the distraction of two teams battling it out on television....making dunks....getting technicals....I honestly thought that TSF was referring to me. Ooops. My bad. It's the effect of "march madness"....



Originally quoted by jsobecky
Just goes to show you how important it is to understand where the other person is coming from, eh?


Quite undoubtedly. But try to type, read and stare at the Gonzaga/Indiana game at the same time! Sigh...I guess I'll have to really develop my multi-tasking skills between now and the Final Four.


But, just to let you know...I still am thinking about an answer to the posts of TSF and yourself. It is very thought-provoking what you both said, both in the modern and historical sense about the Dems.

p.s.(edit) I did re-read over TSF's comments and found that he was referring to Howard Smith.
Yes, I must learn never to focus on a game and type a post at the same time.





[edit on 19-3-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 19 2006 @ 09:08 PM
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jsobecky and Two Steps Forward,

Your series of posts have been very fascinating to me in regards of the Dems. First of all, josbecky, I think that you were mentioning the crop of "Dixiecrats" that were part of the party from the 1950's to the 1970's. Sure, of course, I am aware of Democrats that do not support all aspects of the party--such as Strom Thurmond, a very celebrated case of a "Dixiecrat" who switched his party affiliation in regards to desegregation. However, the "Dixiecrats" were weeded out after the 1964 with the Civil Rights Act. They were further integrated into the Republican party by the time Nixon came to power.

But does that mean that I support every Democrat and all of the things they've done? No. Do I believe that Democrats have the right to dissent against the President on issues of policy? Of course. I agree how they did it is tacky (especially during the SOU address). However, I think that if there is a case to stand up against the policies of the POTUS, then by all means do it. I do not like the fact that the Dems rolled over and played dead during GWB's first and second administration. I also abhor the fact that there are Democrats that mainly use "personal attacks" as a way to influence their constituency.

But, do they have the right and the privilege to be "schreeching liberals" in the name of policy? Yes, I do. That is why I favor people like Howard Dean. Dean has his faults. He sticks his foot in his mouth sometimes. He has to work with his timing. But, I like the fact that he is feisty. I like the fact that he does fight back on matters of policy. I also approve of his use of dissent against the Dems who "comply". And yes, he does fall in to the "blame game". But overall, I think his heart is in the right place when it comes to the working man. I forgot to mention in earlier posts of the type that I also like Barack Obama (D.-Ill.). Obama is a distinguished and eloquent speaker. He is still a Jr. Senator, so there is much more to be said about his record. However, he speaks his mind on issues and fights for the dignity of all Americans. His letter exchange with Senator McCain was in high dungeon, but he expresses a willingness to do the right thing for all Americans.

These are two examples. However, I still maintain that I look at policies and then the politicians that fit them.

I am also aware of the fact that there are Democrats who possess ties to the corporations. Although it takes a lot of money to run campaigns, should we only have candidates that hold office "for the rich, by the rich, and only for the rich"? Kerry falls into this category. Did I approve that Kerry was part of the "Skull and Bones" group along with Bush? No. Because, it seemed that he was too much like the POTUS. Did he run a poor campaign? Yes. Because he did not come out suddenly against the "Swift Boat" veterans. My main contention was that Kerry didn't put himself out enough to show that he was for working people. He also didn't begrudge his new wife, Theresa Heinz Kerry's ties to corporate interests. Although Mrs. Kerry is a feisty woman who has had world experience especially in Africa (her father was a doctor in Mozambique, I believe), she was still the "Tomato heiress". In this case, it was the "lesser of two evils" between Kerry and Bush. And I had to hold my nose and send in my ballot.

That is something I never want to do again in the 2008 elections. I certainly hope that the Democrats change their tune. I also think that they should do some deep soul searching, like Two Steps Forward said. They have to go back to their roots and try to appeal to the Middle Class especially because they are suffering along with poor people. They should also deal with health care because it affects every American, rich, middle class or poor.

With that being said, I still think that you can allow dissent within a political party. It adds to more dynamism to the democratic process. And it gives a place for meaningful debate. You don't have to agree with everything that a party stands for. But if they support a majority of your issues, then advocate the party.

But, I can understand how the actions of a few can turn one off.

[edit on 19-3-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 19 2006 @ 11:01 PM
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ceci

You raise some interesting points. I don't particualrly like answering a response paragraph-by-paragraph; I save that mostly for people that irk me.


You mentioned Kerry's wife, and made some reference to her ties to big business, etc. That struck me as interesting. Do you think JK should try to distance himself from his wife's wealth? Iow, do you see her wealth and business ties as a positive or a negative, or totally irrelevant?



posted on Mar, 19 2006 @ 11:13 PM
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Should American's Citizens have the right to dissent?

Sure they should, according to a proper time and place.
You can bet that very soon, some Americans rights to dissent at military funerals will soon be justly and rightly taken away.
Lawmaker proposes bill to ban protests at military funerals





seekerof



posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 05:56 AM
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Originally quoted by jsobecky
You mentioned Kerry's wife, and made some reference to her ties to big business, etc. That struck me as interesting. Do you think JK should try to distance himself from his wife's wealth? Iow, do you see her wealth and business ties as a positive or a negative, or totally irrelevant?


That's a very fascinating question. At first around the 2004 elections, I honestly thought it was a problem that Kerry had ties to a corporation through his wife. The reason is because I saw the tie to Heinz in the same manner as Bush's ties to the Bin Laden family and Cheney's ties to Halliburton. Then, it seemed to me that the government represented corporations, and not the people of the country.

With that being said, I had found out a few other things about Kerry's ties to his wife's fortune. I found out that JK had to sign a pre-nuptial agreement not to touch Teresa Heinz Kerry's assets, Mrs. Heinz Kerry's assets are tied up into trusts that are for her three children and that the Heinz company funds endowments for philanthopy.

So, if Kerry can't touch his wife's money, then those ties are seen as irrelevant. And, if Mrs. Heinz Kerry does not give any of that money to his campaign, it is equally irrelevant. However, it would be different if the politician him/herself possessed ties to a corporate interest. Then, I would think, "Would they put the corporation or the people first?" No politician is perfect. But if our representatives in government single-handedly integrated those ties into public policy affecting their constituents, then it is definitely wrong. I see those corporate ties similarly to lobbyism.



Originally quoted by Seekerof
Sure they should, according to a proper time and place.
You can bet that very soon, some Americans rights to dissent at military funerals will soon be justly and rightly taken away.


Seekerof, you also pose an interesting question about "dissent" and when to do it. I read the article from Stars and Stripes and came away with a lot of mixed feelings. I certainly do think that our right to "dissent" needs to be protected, even if the message proves to be distasteful to a segment of the population. I feel horrible that families have to endure protesters at a military funeral because it seems rather undignified.

But I have to think about it in this way. If the passage of the bill to restrict protesting at funerals becomes a matter of the law, then a "slippery slope" begins to happen. If lawmakers get away with this, then what else will they do to take away the people's need to protest? And if not at funerals, what if they ban writing letters to all Congresspeople because the someone in the nation feels this is also an undignified act?

So, even though I do not like the fact that people protest at military funerals, we have to continue to support all of our rights to free speech. Or else, we won't be speaking anywhere at anytime.

[edit on 20-3-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 07:16 PM
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If Americans do not dissent as is our responsibility as citizens then we will get what we deserve, which is a dictatorship, or worse, anarchy. It is our duty as Americans to voice our dissent when we disagree with decisions made by our elected leaders. It keeps them at least somewhat honest.

Voting, being politically active, are all forms of dissent, fully as much as marching in a parade waving signs, and singing songs.

Of course we should have the right to dissent.

[edit on 20-3-2006 by seagull]



posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 07:42 PM
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dissent is not disloyalty.

if we don't point out the mistakes our government is making, ESPECIALLY during a time of war, how are they to know what the will of the people is?

we need to get our voices heard more often that every other november.

the world is more than loyal and disloyal.



posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 10:23 PM
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madnessinmysoul, you mentioned in your post the idea of "loyal" versus "disloyalty". This is yet another point that comes into contention when it has to do with dissent.

That's why I don't understand that some segments of the population think that you are "unpatriotic" if you protest against the policies of the government. I would think this is quite the contrary. You just can't blindly take everything that our leaders say. If you did, this would be more of a "dicatorship" than a democracy.

I have always heard that in the name of safety, some people would rather have a fascist government. In this type of rulership, the citizens would not speak out against the endeavors of their leaders. But, to quietly follow all the passages of laws that encroach upon our rights is to silently accept our leaders as an ogliarchy. And that is one thing I do not want to see happening to the American government. Something needs to change.

I also agree with seagull that dissent keeps the politicians honest. Okay, we know that there are a system of "checks and balances" that try to keep the POTUS in check. But, right now, those "checks and balances" are ineffectual. So, "dissent" becomes the final measure to get the government to listen. If the protests are loud enough, then the will of the people can be heard.

[edit on 20-3-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 08:02 AM
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One can dissent and still be loyal to ones country. I would submit that not being willing to dissent is something like disloyalty.

Support a cause, or dissent against it, by whatever legal means available.
This is what keeps our country free. When the voices of dissent are silenced, we are no longer a free nation. So shout loud and long if you must. All I ask is that you practise a little decourum and civility.

Rudeness angers me so, and makes me want to be rude which anger me so. Ok, I've gone and confused myself again.

Oh, bye the by, Gonzaga rocks, and go UDUB.



posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 10:52 AM
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Originally posted by seagull
Support a cause, or dissent against it, by whatever legal means available.
This is what keeps our country free. When the voices of dissent are silenced, we are no longer a free nation. So shout loud and long if you must. All I ask is that you practise a little decourum and civility.

Excellent point, seagull, to which I would only add that there are times when the timing of dissent should be considered.

We are all in this together. I would never be one to advocate silencing a dissenting voice, but there is a time and a place for everything. Sometimes, silence is the loudest dissent. ceci made the point earlier about the right of Phelp's group to protest at funerals. While I agree with her to a point, I do it very begrudgingly because of the pain that I am sure it brings to the families of the deceased. But, she is correct, and we have to take the bad with the good.



posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 11:24 AM
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Jsobecky. I feel exactly the same way, concerning people who would deny the holocaust, and Phelps' group of rampant know nothings. So I know exactly where you are coming from.



posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 12:59 AM
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seagull and jsobecky,

I think it is very hard to support the right to dissent when the message is distasteful. This day and age is no exception. There are many groups that irritate segments of the population, but I don't think it would be fair to silence them. Because as long as they don't advocate violence, they have the right to protest policies affecting them.

About the military funerals: I have to admit it bothered me to read that in a time of grief, a group of protesters would be disrupting the services. It makes me think about my own relatives who have and continue to serve honorably in the military. Would I want a bunch of people shouting at their funerals? No. But, I know that I would have to have a thick skin and let them do it because of the freedom of speech. It sounds as if I am laying down and rolling over when it comes to the respectibility of a funeral. But, they unfortunately have a right to be there if there is no law against it. However, it is hard to feel neutral about a personal setting--especially when it comes to the right to speak. I still feel that our First Amendment Rights are that important to forgo the sense of repulsion at such an act.

BTW seagull, go BRUINS, go UDUB, and go Georgetown!!!! And....Hook 'em Horns!!!!

(I like Gonzaga too. I especially think the playing of Adam Morrison is cool...but unfortunately, I *have* to choose a side on Thursday.
)

[edit on 22-3-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 01:48 AM
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Usually I'm very dilligent in reading the entire thread before I respond but reading the title of the thread I actually didn't feel a need to read the other responses, perhaps that's arrogant, but my answer would still remain the same.

Of course we have the right to dissent. the government serves us, not the other way around.

Our country may have been founded by some incredibly repressed uptight folks, but they understood the basic rights of people to dissent and fight for their personal freedoms.

Case in point; every third wedensday I chuck a box of earl grey tea into long beach harbor.

Spiderj



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 06:57 AM
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Spiderj:Lol! That is certainly a unique way to show your dissent. More power to you.

BTW, I wonder if you guys had seen the protests that were being made about immigration over the weekend. What do you guys think about that? I'd be interested to you know if that is the type of dissent that you would picture being made by the American people.

[edit on 26-3-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 10:58 AM
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Some of the reports I heard had numbers in excess of 100K. That's a whole lot of movin', and chantin' going on. I guess democracy isn't as dead as some would have us believe. I don't agree with the demonstrators who are against legislation that would make illegal immigration a felony, but what the hey. It is still a free country.

I would submit that these very protests are an answer to your question. I guarantee you, politicians hear that many voices.

[edit on 26-3-2006 by seagull]



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 11:41 AM
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Originally posted by Seekerof
Should American's Citizens have the right to dissent?

Sure they should, according to a proper time and place.
You can bet that very soon, some Americans rights to dissent at military funerals will soon be justly and rightly taken away.
Lawmaker proposes bill to ban protests at military funerals

And what is the proper time and place to dissent? The only one I have heard of protesting at military funerals is that so called reverend Fred Phelps...and while I think what he does is obscene, if we take away the right to protest, at events we consider inappropraite, that is just the beginning of taking them away period. Protest zones are such an effort. Bush is such a coward he can't even face those who disagree with him.





seekerof



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