Honor dissent

Letters to the editor

Posted: Monday, February 17, 2003

From U.S. government 101: Dissent in a free society is not disloyal, it is requisite. Unanimity is only required by demagogues. When I taught U.S. government classes I tried to explain to my students that our government was deliberately set up with checks and balances, which sometimes result in slow progress precisely because the founding fathers were terrified of tyranny.

Many of us voted for Kim Elton because he has the integrity to vote his conscience; we do not want a rubber-stamp Legislature. Alaska has many problems, and many points of view that should and must be heard in the Legislature. To take Kim Elton to task for dissenting from a vote, was unfair, unwarranted, undemocratic and ultimately unpatriotic. Mr. Smith as a publisher of a newspaper you should be ashamed of yourself and should take a refresher course in U.S. government 101.

Toni R. Birdseye

Juneau



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