One reader, Ted Thaxter of Lone Pine, a gentleman who has written to this paper objecting to previous articles, went so far as to cancel his subscription to the Advocate stating, "John Cannon's paean to America finally did it for me. Remove me from your mailing list. I am sick of this ignorant jerk."
Mr. Frank G. Williams of Independence wrote two letters, one to the Advocate and one to me, personally.
In his missive to the paper, Mr.Williams attacks me as a Communist and offers me a one-way ticket to a number of countries where he apparently would like to send those other Americans who exercise their constitutional rights in any manner which offends his personally fragile sensibilities. He then, for some unusual reason, demands that both I and the paper apologize for exercising those self same constitutional rights.
Obviously, I have no intention of ever apologizing for stating my beliefs about what areas I find America straying into depravity and then using my Constitutional right to attempt to shed a light on paths away from that nastiness. The First Amendment is one of the many freedoms I defended with my very life in one of the many wars which Mr. Williams would undoubtedly have Americans support no matter how misguided or outright evil the war is. He goes on to accuse me, for some extraordinary reason, of failing to include that self same First Amendment in that particular article, which only shows that he has not truly understood or can't remember the many, many times I have written entire articles about that subject.
In his letter to me, he proves the point I was trying to make about the base and nasty nature of America in 1997 by first reiterating his accusation that I am a Communist for stating opinions which he cannot rebut. Amazingly, he then calls me a S.O.B. (although he spent the time to spell out all four words), and tells me to get my "filthy rotten carcus [the correct spelling, of course, being carcass] out of this country...". Finally, as an example of his loving and American nature, he ends his missive with "Roast in Hell!!!"
Okay, these gentlemen have had their say. Perhaps we need to examine some words from others, as well.
Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation or creed. (Bertrand Russell)
I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just. (Thomas Jefferson)
Don't burn the flag, wash it. (Norman Thomas)
No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched. (George Jean Nathan)
The world has narrowed to a neighborhood before it has broadened to brotherhood. (Lyndon B. Johnson)
One defeats the fanatic precisely by not becoming a fanatic oneself, but on the contrary by using one's intelligence. (George Orwell)
For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate error so long as reason is free to combat it. (Thomas Jefferson)
The things that are wrong with the country today are the sum total of all the things that are wrong with us as individuals. (Charles W. Tobey)
The men in America people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth. (H. L. Mencken)
Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it. (George Bernard Shaw)
Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but his inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. (Reinhold Niebuhr)
It is a paradox that every dictator has climbed to power on the ladder of free speech. Immediately on attaining power each dictator has suppressed all free speech except his own. (Herbert Hoover)
Well, my remaining gentle readers, I can only conclude by thanking these two readers for at least taking the time to write and express themselves. To both of them I say only that if the people of America marched in lock step with the lowest common denominator, as they are demanding, we would still be singing "God Save the Queen". It is not only my Constitutional right to state my beliefs, it is my duty as an American to do so even if, or particularly if, you do not agree with those beliefs.
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