Dissent is Patriotic

“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.” - Edward R. Murrow

Earlier this week a student in Flordia was Tasered(r) at a meeting with Senator John Kerry. The student asked the senator some tough questions. When he didn’t yield the floor, police officers subdued the student and while holding him down, Tasered(r) him.

Yesterday, the Senate passed an amendment which uses the straw man argument that anyone who disagrees with Gen. Petraeus is unpatriotic and doesn’t support the troops.

These two events while seemingly unconnected represent the culmination of a troubling cancer eating at our nation, quelling any dissenting view and labeling the dissenters as unpatriotic. Our nation is founded on the principles of free speech and could not survive without dissenting view points. When writing an opinion, Justices in the Supreme Court also write a dissenting view.

“You’re with us or your against us”, “You agree with us or your unpatriotic” thinking is dangerous to the future of our republic. It prevents a real constructive dialog on how we will get ourselves out of the mess created over the last four years. Rather than pat themselves on the back for their “patriotism” the Senate should of passed the resolution voted on the day before which would give the troops adequate time to see their families between multiple tours in Iraq.

Now that would of been truly patriotic.

Joe Cotellese @JoeCotellese