dissent

Founded, Not Forsaken: A Republic (if you can keep it)

Happy Fourth of July, folks.

"Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?"

"A Republic, if you can keep it."

      -- Ben Franklin to an unknown lady,
        per the notes of delegate Dr. James McHenry of Maryland.

We've been called worse. A corporatocracy, an oligarchy, a plutocracy...whichever the definition, they seem to be far and away quite different from the initial goal of a republic. But across all forms, regardless, is the ever-present and apparently common denominator of national pride, perversely corrupted and reduced to nationalism and jingoism.

The two should never, ever be mistaken for a true, uniquely American definition of "patriotism" nor should they ever be used to justify war or to quell dissent.

'Stop criticizing Obama. You'll ruin everything!'

'Stop criticizing Obama.
You'll ruin everything!'

The Absolute Right of Citizens to Speak Freely

Michael Collins

A few defenders of President elect Barack Obama are attacking one of his most enlightened statements of the campaign -- the request for open dialog and criticism from his supporters.  This occurred on his blog after he voted to support FISA legislation in the summer of 2008.

"I learned long ago, when working as an organizer on the South Side of Chicago, that when citizens join their voices together, they can hold their leaders accountable.  I'm not exempt from that.  I'm certainly not perfect, and expect to be held accountable too."  Barack Obama, July 3, 2008

Responding to criticism of cabinet choices and, most recently, the selection of bigoted preacher Rev. Rick Warren to open the inauguration ceremonies, some Obama supporters are actually telling other supporters to "stop criticizing Obama!"