Remember the First Amendment |

Remember the First Amendment

In response to the letter writer who felt that our supervisors limited her patriotism and support of the war by changing one word of a support pledge: Wake up and smell the Constitution, the First Amendment in particular.

Our free speech, our diversity, our right to dissent and be protected from “the majority” are guaranteed by this oft-forgotten document. If she believes that removing the word “fully” from the sentence about supporting the war in order to more accurately represent the range of opinion in this county is unconscionable, perhaps she would like to have that pesky First Amendment tossed away.

Further, if she believes that this piece of paper (the pledge) is the only measure of her patriotism, and limiting its verbiage limits her expression of it, I’m afraid she is severely underestimating her power of free speech. Speak for yourself, lady (courtesy of the First Amendment). Why not write a letter to Bush apologizing for her misguided and ignorant community and affirming her die-hard allegiance? Draw up a pledge for yourself and like-minded others! But do not presume to speak for me.

I believe the decision to acknowledge the diversity of opinion in this community, while simultaneously affirming the right to have different opinions, was a courageous act on the part of the supervisors. In fact, if I may be so bold, it was decidedly patriotic. She wasn’t silenced by this act. Signing off on a pledge that misrepresents the stance of a portion of our community would, however, be an act of censorship.

We are all individuals. This country is supposed to be a melting pot of peoples, ideas, and opinions, and a beacon of tolerance, not a homogenous glob wherein people believe what they are told to believe. Intimidating others into acting and thinking the way you want them to is called tyranny. Differing opinions are the foundation of our country, essential to Democracy, and crucial to an ever-evolving humanity. So don’t shoot the messengers. And the message, by the way, is freedom.

Kathryn Stull

Grass Valley

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