Sunday, February 06, 2005

Ideology and the right to speak

In trying to wrap up the issues concerning Ward Churchill and the controversy swirling around what he said, his right to say it and the fallout that comes when ideological purity gets tossed into the mix, I ran across two articles from Counterpunch.

The first one, by Alexander Cockburn looks at the right to free expression, juxtaposed with ideology and worldview.

The second, by Kurt Nimmo, sums up nicely my thoughts and feelings as I come to the end (or beginning?) of a week.

My willingness to join the fray and express support for constitutionally protected free speech has given me a very small glimpse into the deranged minds of many that inhabit the world of neo-conservatism. While I've gotten some much appreciated civil and intelligent feedback from several folks that are at different places in how we view politics and world events, I've also been exposed to some personal attacks (all anonymous) that attempted to discredit what I wrote on the basis of 1) Churchill being a fraud, or 2) that what he wrote was so outside the pale of accepted dialogue, that it is rightfully being shut down. None of these sought to dialogue or even politely express disagreements. Instead, they immediately sought to dismiss the issue with the wave of a hand and the use of ad hominem tactics designed to marginalize my efforts to take a particular position.

One of the things I've learned about writing is that if no one comments on your writing, then you probably don't have much to say. When people start taking the time to send you attack mail, then you might possibly have hit a nerve. Hey, it's all good!

Despite the lies, innuendo and blatent attacks against Churchill, even from those who ought to be standing with him, I'd do it again, as I believe freedom of speech is one of the foundational freedoms in our country. If we lose that, then nothing else really matters.

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