Doorbakken kan altijd nog
Sunday, November 7, 2004
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Send a little bit our way in Canada too.
Andy (ip:220.127.116.11) 7 November 2004 - 12:36 uur
It is nice to be free to express yourself. However, it's very much a double-edged sword because the freedoms we have now have expanded their wings into viciousness and outright lies. Earlier this summer, there were comparisons of Pres. Bush to Hitler, Stalin, and Nazism. Now, in MY history books, Hitler's regime was responsible for 6 million or so deaths, and Stalin managed to eliminate over 20 million of his own people. To have such outrageous lies in cartoons, on the web and hear it on television is very difficult to accept. Also, it hinders the support for the effort in Iraq. So the freedom to express yourself in the US is wonderful, but (IMHO) to have outrageous and dangerous lies abounding is bad for the image put out to the world.
Sandra C. (ip:18.104.22.168) 7 November 2004 - 15:13 uur
Well yeah, but you can hit back to those slurs. For example, the way Jim Treacher made fun of all those Nazi comparisons: http://jimtreacher.com/archives/001115.html (Yes, it's a parody. Otherwise, the Wall Street Journal wouldn't have printed it)
Arjan (ip:22.214.171.124) 7 November 2004 - 16:52 uur
The best remedy for bad free speech is More free speech. Ridiculous comparisons between Bush and Hitler heal themselves quickly; the utterers shown to be the idiots they are after the adrenaline's all used up.
As for the 'image' of a country abroad, I don't see that as being terribly important, because relations with foreign countries deal with specifics. Countries generally do what's in their best interest and if the flavor of the month dictates that X tastes are out and Y is in, so what? Reality trumps fashion after scrutiny if there's any merit to the thing in the first place. That's a Real discussion, not a fashionable one. Hating Bush is fahionable. Just listen to the facile mantras interminably bandied about.
Euro distaste for the US at the moment is thin, and it changes depending on what's specifically being discussed. More free speech Helps this, gives it all texture and quality. What hinders it is Less free speech, like state TV broadcasts, and government views regarded as 'kewl' by mainstream media in so many countries including the US up to now.
More free speech, such as Zacht Ei, break down these simplistic stereotypes. That's a Good thing. Nex
Alan (ip:126.96.36.199) 7 November 2004 - 17:05 uur
The marketplace of ideas which we hold so dear in the US was vindicated by this election.
The left made all sorts of ridiculous statements and leveled ludicrous charges against President Bush, and he was re-elected. A free populace is able to see the bad speech and punish those who make it.
The danger, it would seem, that the Dutch face now is that people DO want to discuss the role of Muslims within their society, just as Americans did post September 11th.
We had an open and honest debate, by and large, in the public sphere, and I believe a healthy understanding was established. Somehwere between the self-loathing of Michael Moore and the neo-Crusaders like Ann Coulter we currently have a healthy balance here.
Here in the states, one side comes to the table with some good ideas, and some bad ideas. The other side does the same. The marketplace keeps all the good and throws out the bad.
The Dutch, however, will not encounter these dicussions in an open forum, where good and bad ideas can be hashed out.
Seeking out expression, they will hear, in secret, from one side of the spectrum. The universally accepted good ideas on the one side with lend legitimacy to the bad ideas on that same side.
That's how you get extremism.
Sean (ip:188.8.131.52) 7 November 2004 - 20:59 uur