Fred Thompson: Dissent and Democracy

I hope that anyone would has been following politics in the United States during the last decade or so would believe that dissent is what has made this country stronger.  From finally waking up to a failed and misrepresented war in Iraq to countless blunders and illegal actions, the White House could clearly use some oversight.  That’s why it’s particularly annoying for me to read articles like this one in The Raw Story: Fred Thompson: Dissent makes US ‘weak,’ carries ‘heavy price’.  The following excerpt probably says it all:

“If you’re politically committed against this war and to do something to further harm the president, the way the Democrats seem to be in Congress, then anything [in the Petraeus Report] that’s a mixed message is going to be seized upon in a negative way,” Thompson told Fox News on Thursday.

“If we look weak and divided in this country, we’re going to pay a heavy price for it in the future,” he went on. “We’re living in the era of the suitcase bomb. And they’re not going to go away. They’re here now, they’re armed and dangerous, and they’re trying to get weapons of mass destruction.”

When asked about Iran, Thompson replied, “They’re killing our people as we speak. … We cannot allow this to go on forever. … Within the next few years, most experts think, well on their way to making a nuclear weapon. … I don’t know how much stark the situation could be. They perceive us as being weak, they perceive us as being divided, and they think they could get away with anything.”

So, if I understand correctly, U.S. citizens should support their government, regardless of how illegal, unethical, or immoral our actions are.  We should wholeheartedly welcome attacks on other nations without any provocation or chance for diplomacy.  And, we should be just fine with a President who claims that God told him to attack Iraq. 

One of the many slogans that has always bothered me is, “America: Love it or Leave it!”  In a democracy, dissent is the basis of change.  It should be what keeps us out of regimes the like of Hitler and Stalin.  It should protect individual civil liberties against tyranny.  I recommend we change the slogan to “America: Love it or Change it!”. 

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