Forgetting about liberty

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, June 07, 2004

I could not have been more disappointed with Andrew Soristo's letter, "Shut up and vote." Apparently somewhere along the way he forgot that he is supposed to be protecting the freedom of speech of each and every person in this country - a right that many of us would put above our own safety. In opening his own mouth and dismissing the opinion of everyone who has not served in the military as "worthless," he has proved his own proverb.

For the sake of this country, I hope that people will continue to feel free to express their viewpoints without regard to whether or not a particular stand will be popular. This is what separates the United States from the military juntas of the world. If discouraging citizens from sharing their opinions in a public forum becomes the norm, we will become even less informed about the issues than we are already, selling our liberty for pennies on the dollar.

Benjamin Franklin, a newspaperman who never once strapped on a military uniform, once said, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Given the choice between rallying cries, I will choose Mr. Franklin's "worthless" statement over Mr. Soristo's plea, "Shut up and vote," every single time.

Eric Caldwell


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