Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Sad: I didn't see John Kerry speak, but this Washington Post story about his attack on Bush is just pathetic. Bush has been pounding Kerry for flip-flopping on important issues such as the war, funding the war, taxes, etc. So Kerry fires back:

"You want to talk about flips and flops?" he asked hundreds of supporters at a rally in Cincinnati. "This president said one day Condoleezza Rice is not going to testify and the next day she is going to testify."
The man was doing better when he was on vacation.

Some Republicans protested his appearance by gathering in a bunch and clapping flip-flop sandals repeatedly. That's a clever protest and all, but it appears from the article that the Republicans were doing this in such a way as to drown out Kerry's voice.

Americans have a right and a duty to protest anything they find disagreeable. That's what freedom of speech is all about. But when that protest interferes with somebody else's (such as Kerry's) speech or the crowd's ability to hear it, then that moves beyond protest and into a bullying tactic.

I can't count how many times, especially in college, I've gone to an event to listen to a controversial speaker but was unable to hear anything because protesters disagreed with that person's right to speak. You don't have to be a government goon to censor somebody. Out of the respect for public discourse, protests should be held near an event, but not so close that it interferes.


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