Veteran supports the voice of dissent
September 11, 2012 · Updated 5:13 PM
I read with shocked dismay at the vitriol spewed at the author a recent letter concerning the Navy jets and their flight operation.
Do people not understand that this letter was at its core a reminder to our military that they are subject to the citizenry, and not the citizenry to the military? That our government, of which the military is a part, gets its existence from the consent of the governed? Anything else is a dictatorship.
If WNT readers believe that this opinion letter is “filth,” “a dig against the Navy on par with Afghan and Iraqi insurgents,” “a travesty to have had it printed,” worthy of “subscription cancellations” and in some cases “harassment, rape and violence,” then we have confused patriotism with fascism and the rule of law with mob rule.
Some have even said, “She got herself into this and WNT let her.” Let me see if I get this: blame the victim for being victimized? “Yes, your honor it was her own fault she was raped. She really had it coming to her.”
Your editorial piece was spot on. Freedom of speech is far more than simply the right to speak.
Yes, it is certainly the right to hold a different opinion, speak an unpopular thought, or make an unpopular stand. However, it is also the responsibility to speak with integrity, defend the well being of the dissident, speak without recrimination while being sure to speak in a manner upholding civil discourse and the law.
It’s easy to see the world in the simple, black and white world of conspiracy, moralism and self-justification. “Conspiratorial” views of dissenters, biased editors, publishers, political parties and dominant cultural outlets only help to fuel the opposite of civility and public discourse.
Hate and violence are just that and will continue to breed more hate and violence. If we cannot tolerate this benign form of disagreement, then God help us all.
Speak your piece, sister, this is one veteran who will stand by you.