Monday, August 22, 2005

Free speech

I have been hearing something that is really getting me upset.

A number of 'right-wing media types' or perhaps I should refer to them as blow-hards such as Rush Limbaugh have been discussing the issue of treason and protests against current policy. I am not going to getting in to the subjects they have been discussing in particular, but the concept in general. The general topic is that of protesting the 'War in Iraq.' Now these blow-hards want to convice people that by taking a stand against the current policy of the current administration that these individuals are somehow committing treason.

Our friends from Merriam-Websters define treason as:
1 : the betrayal of a trust
2 : the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign's family

So lets take these one at a time.
How is conducting a Constitutionally legal protest against a government policy the betrayal of trust. It isn't, so the protests are failing under this definition.

As for the second, how is conducting a Constitutionally legal protest an overt act to overthrow the state(government) to which the protester owes allegiance, or to kill or personally injure the soveriegn or his family? Well let's see, I don't believe the 'anti-war' protesters are advocating the overthrow of the entire government, just a government policy. Are any of these people call for the death of George 'Bunnypants' Bush or his family. I haven't hear this, and though I don't discount that there may be some who feel that way, I doubt that there are many who are.

The idea tends to be that they are 'offering aid and comfort to the enemy.' I have been thinking about this and I am not sure what this means in terms of the situation with Iraq. They are not supporting the terrorists. They are not saying that the terrorists are correct in killing anyone, and I would definitely have a problem if they did.

So I guess that leaves us with a single concept, that they disagree with the simple fact that these people are on the other side of the issue and with all due respect to the right-wing blow-hard faction of this country, but that is not treason. In fact, I would go so far as to say these people are doing exactly what they should be doing if they disagree with the policies, expressing themselves. Maybe the problem is that the right-wing blow-hards can't handle it when people disagree with them. If that's the case, instead of accusing others of treason, perhaps they need to see a professional to help with the feelings of inadequacy they are obviously feeling.

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