As a lawyer, I have always been reverential about the first amendment. I may not agree with what you say, but I have always felt comfortable defending your right to say it. Our Country was founded under the principals of being able to hold our government accountable for its actions through peaceful means.
This is why I find it difficult to stomach the attitude of people like Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann who questions the patriotism of Barack Obama and uses the words “liberal” and “democrat” as if it were swear words. Michelle Bachman actually said Barack Obama has “anti-American views” and insinuates that people throughout college campuses in this Country hate America. While I defend her right to say these things, I think it’s ultimately less American to try to intimidate people from expressing their views, for trying to paint them as “the other” or non-patriotic, just because they are doing what our founding fathers did of the Government of Britain- question whether or not it was acting appropriately, and seek to change what they feel is wrong. Here’s the video of Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann on Chris Matthew’s Hardball:
While it’s easy to paint Michelle Bachmann with the Joe McCarthy brush, it’s clear she’s living in an America where the freedom of speech and the freedom to peaceably assembly are weapons rather than freedoms. I respect her right to voice these opinions, but I cannot defend the comments, which I feel are much more anti-American that patriotic. But then again, I hope I live in a Country where people are free to express their ideas, collaborate and make this Country stronger by the vigorous debate and the sum of its parts. I hope the divisions this election has tried to perpetuate are finally replaced by a sense of freedom and of unity and we once again transcend Red States and Blue States and become again the United States of America.
Addition: Bachmann’s opponent has received over $1.3 million dollars in campaign funding as a result of Representative Bachmann’s comments. This is similar to the over $800,000 dollars Planned Parenthood received right after Sarah Palin was nominated for Vice President- the internet is becoming a tool not only to amplify an individual’s voice, but to amplify dissent, and it comes with a pretty generous “putting your money where your mouth is” response.