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Vive La France

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Click here for a commentary that summarizes my views on the American anger toward the French and the backlash against the Dixie Chicks.

What do y'all think of the commentary?
post #2 of 12
I agree 100% with his views. His comments about the Dixie Chicks perfectly said what I've been trying to say about the freedom of speech, and how punishing speech is different from exercising your right to disagree with someone. And I also liked the commentary about the Senator. I very strongly disagree with what he had to say, but he did have the right to say it. The hardest type of speech to protect is unpopular speech, and that is the type we must fight the hardest to protect.
post #3 of 12
I do offer this tip as a small antidote to stupidity: If you pour out a bottle of French wine you've already purchased or burn a Dixie Chicks album you've already bought, then you are destroying your own property and not harming France or the Dixie Chicks in the least. They got their profit when you bought the products.
I have to agree with that one! I thought that when I saw the protesters pouring bottles of wine into the gutter - hey stoopid you went and BOUGHT a bottle of French wine to protest, but you are really SUPPORTING them by buying it! Trust me, the French and the record companies really don't give a hoot what you do with their products after you purchase it.

Honestly, what I'm still not clear on with the Dixie Chicks is why it was so horrible for people who disagreed with them to NOT purchase their new CD - and say WHY they didn't buy it? Isn't this Freedom of Speech as well? The people who threatened them should be punished. That is against the law. I just haven't heard of anyone in our government saying they wanted to destroy the Dixie Chicks, or actually any comment from the government. If I'm in the dark on this, please enighten me.
post #4 of 12
I'd have to say that the commentary sums up my views perfectly. Although I don't believe that Chirac's motives were entirely idealistic, and I feel that Schroeder is a cynical opportunist, I'm appalled at those of my compatriots who are screaming for blood because they had the gall to criticize Bush('s actions). I worry when our government acts like a bunch of petulant brats (cf. Rumsfeld), and members of the general public follow like lemmings. If that is "traitorous", too bad!
post #5 of 12
I agree 100% with him. Wow, what a speech!
post #6 of 12
I think what bothered me the most about the whole Dixie Chicks incident wasn't that people weren't buying their CDs. Hey, be my guest, I don't buy them either What really struck and upset me was the absolute anger and hatred directed at them for what was said. I think it's OK to say "I'm not buying their CD because I disagree with their views and hitting them in the pocket is a legitimate way of expressing my disagreement". But the negative feelings expressed against them...That's what bothered me.
post #7 of 12
Good speech, I agree with almost everything.

The part I have a problem with is this:
The same (right of free speech - seagull) applies to Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who expressed his disapproval of homosexual acts. That's his privilege.
It may be his privilige as a person, but definately not as a senator.
When you hold a public funcion like Senator, judge, policeman, or civil servant, I believe there are limits to the right of free speech.
At least for as long as you are in function.

Off duty, a policeman/-woman can think or say whatever he/she wants.
On duty they have to treat everyone equal, regardless of their personal opinions.

Same goes for this senator, or any other senator for that matter.
He is senator for all people, not just for the ones he personally likes.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Seagull, I think you have an excellent point. In my role as chairperson of my department, I carefully do not speak my mind on some issues because I believe that some of my thoughts do not represent the thoughts of my department as a whole. As chairperson, I speak for my department and it is my job to represent the views of my department even if I believe differently (unless of course I have more knowledge about an issue than the faculty and can therefore make a more informed decision).

So...I think you are correct. If he was speaking as a senator, he should have just kept his mouth shut. However, if he was not speaking in his role as senator, he has the right to say what he wishes.

But, is this a double standard? Hmmmmmmm...... what does everyone else think?
post #9 of 12
I'll probably lose my left-wing liberal card over this, but...

I think the Senator had a right to say what he felt, whether or not he is a Senator. As an elected official, he has to make a stand on issues, among them gay rights. Personally, I think he is misguided and ill-informed. But, his constituency ultimately has the role of deciding whether or not his views will be perpetuated, by re-electing him, or whether his views will be repudiated, by electing someone else. Unfortunately, gay rights are a political issue in the US today. Although I'd like to think that it's a non-issue, many people do think it's an issue that can be legislated and regulated.

And yes, I think there is a double standard. Average Americans face much nastier outcomes for voicing their opinions than our politicians face.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Christy, I know it sounds contradictory, but I agree with what you are saying as well. I guess that for me, if he was a smart senator who was truly looking out for what was best for his constituants (sp?) he should have kept his mouth shut. However, I do believe that he has the right to be a lousy senator and to say things that will be damaging to the people he represents. So, for me, everyone has the right to state their opinions, though if you are in a position in which you are responsible for the well-being of others, it can sometimes be best to keep your personal opinions to yourself (when speaking in an official capacity) so that the people you are representing don't get hurt.

Does that make any sense?
post #11 of 12
lotsocats, I think what you wrote makes a lot of sense. It's a complicated subject and there are no easy answers.

I especially liked the part about him "having the right to be a lousy senator" and not get re-elected.

okeefecl, you said the senator has the right to make a stand as an elected official.

I hadn't realised that he had indeed been elected.
I suppose my earlier idea about NOT having that right, comes from the fact that hardly anyone get's elected directly in the Netherlands.
When we vote to elect the Tweede Kamer (bit like the House of Commons in England), you vote mainly for a party, not for a person.
We also don't have constituencies, so you don't have any politician you can consider to be "your" representative in parliament.

People usually do not change parties, just because one of party members makes a fool of himself. So you can't "punish" anyone directly by not re-electing him, although usually his party will if his beliefs are not in line with official party principles .

People in public offices (judges, mayors etc) are not elected but appointed. I think the fact that people are appointed in stead of elected, makes a difference when it ccomes to the right to speak their mind as a person, when they are actually in office.
A mayor is not a mayor from 9 to 5, but 24/7.

Does anyone else feel there is a difference between being elected or appointed?
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
There are real benefits to having elected officials. Being able to vote out an idiot is one of the best things! But, (and I apologize in advance for sounding elitist) since half of the population has an IQ less than 100, that means we have some folks who aren't very bright who are deciding who should run the country.

Regarding appointed officials, we do have some of that here in that some very powerful judges are appointed for life by the president and many of the most powerful positions in the country are filled with political appointees. This can be good if the president happens to be someone who has political beliefs similar to your own, but it can be extremely scary if the president has an agenda you find distasteful. For example, our current president appointed someone I consider to be a bafoon to be in charge of legal matters for the country (Ashcroft). This guy is such a tight-ass that he ordered greek-style statues of women covered because he was offended by their bare breasts! sheesh! He is an embarrasment to the country!

Overall, I am much more comfortable with elected officials because there is a good chance that if they are bad enough we can get rid of them. We're stuck with the man who is afraid of boobs until president Bush retires or gets voted out of office!
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