I dissent - as is my right.

I dissent.
I dissent.

In my lifetime I have encountered numerous Americans – some from the left and some from the right and many that are somewhere in between -that truly believe that various forms of patriotic manifestations are immutable and uncompromising. Many of these also believe that patriotism and its various manifestations should be coerced on to the unwilling.

I dissent, as is my right, from this opinion.

To force someone to Pledge an Allegiance to a flag, a nation, an empire, a supernatural entity, a republic, a politician, a religion is in an unto itself unbecoming of what the entire point of American democracy is.

So we must ask ourselves what is the point of the American who is shipped of to distant lands to fight and die for a country , for a flag , for an ideal of liberty of freedom, for patriotic values that , upon return to their native lands , they come to realize that these values are coerced on the citizenry? Have they made these sacrifices for nothing? Have they fought so that the powers that be can impose a state of tyranny upon the people? The simplistic answer that one often hears from the cultural conservatives is “ If you don’t like it leave” or “Get out of this country, you don’t belong here” And I am sure that this is a very satisfying albeit vacuous answer – one that has been repeated many times since the founding of Our Great Nation.

Let us take a brief tour through the annals of American history.

During the mid - 19th century there were many people that believed slavery was an injustice and many people did what they could to end this practice.

It took over 100 years of protest from women - often under physical and mental duress - for the right to vote.

Though out the 1950’s and 1960’s many people of color – and every color for that matter – risked jail , abuse , humiliation , so that people of any color could sit where they wanted on the bus or enter the movie theater through the font door, or that they could go to the school of their choosing.

In the late 19th and early 20th century many people risked their livelihoods – and beatings – so that they would not have to work under inhumane conditions at a factory.

Did these people leave? Did these people heed their detractors and head for foreign lands? Most of them stayed.

And – as is their right – they dissented.

For those of you – my fellow Americans - that say dissenters should leave, that they are troublemakers, that they are just making waves and are rocking the boat and that they should just shut up. I ask you this:

Will you be willing to sit in the back of the bus, or enter the movie theater through the back, or perhaps sit in only specific areas of a diner, only due to the amount of pigmentation in your skin?

Are you willing to deny anyone the right to vote due to gender?

Are you willing to work under inhumane conditions for near starvation wages?

Are you willing to be limited – or have your children limited – to what school they can attend due solely to race or ethnicity?

If you say no to these things, then you are enjoying the sacrifices made by past generations of dissenters.

And dissent is the greatest form of patriotism. This is what they fought for.


I dissent - as is my right.
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  • nightdrot
    This MyTake is partly bayonetting a straw man and is partly reductio ad absurdum. It defines dissent entirely in terms of noble causes, neglecting the degree to which such dissent can be employed in the defense of ignoble causes and indeed can negate the very right to dissent. At its core, it makes the classic libertarian and liberal error of defining liberty as an end in itself rather than as a means to an end.

    To take things in order. To the extent that dissent is expressed in a refusal to salute the flag, or kneeling during the playing of the national anthem and suchlike, such things are not required by law. Rather they are social conventions and as such one may do them/not do them or not as is their won't.

    However, as social conventions, there is a price to be paid in terms of ostracism if such conventions are flouted. Flout them the dissenter will, but that does not in turn oblige the rest of society to applaud. The essence of liberty is the willingness to accept the consequences of exercising one's liberties - and that includes the alienation of one's fellows.

    As Churchill said, "There is no light without its shadow." To that extent, this MyTake is fighting with shadows.

    As to the law itself, as Burke said, "Liberty too must be limited in order to be preserved." There is little point in speaking of free speech if one will be bludgeoned on the head for speaking freely. In that sense, liberty is not spontaneous but is a human construct erected by human reason.

    The line is therefore not as sharply defined as the author would make it seem. Dissent is defensible, rioting is not. In between that, then, the question is over whether or not there is provision made for the expression of alternative views. Where there is not, then certainly a breaking of laws is inevitable and within bounds even understandable.

    Where there is provision made for dissent - as in the United States and most of the Western world - then the violation of laws is not permissible and, at the very least, the dissenter should expect to pay the legal penalty of his actions. Indeed, that was the essence of the civil rights movement. The likes of Dr. King accepted their legal punishments, hoping that in doing so - as indeed over the course of time happened - that people would see the punishment as disproportionate to the crime and indeed came to see the law itself as unjust. The law was then changed ---- by Constitutional and legal means.

    Indeed, the problem with the author's argument is that the assertion of rights outside of a structure of law and rights makes speaking of rights at all problematic. It is not democracy, it is, rather, the law of the jungle. As any deer that has ever been eaten by a lion would attest - as indeed John Locke and Thomas Hobbes pointed out - there are no rights in the state of nature.

    Beyond all that, the purpose to which rights are put to use matters. Freedom is a means to an end, not an end in itself. That end - as philosophers from Aristotle to Aquinas to Burke have noted - is the attainment of virtue.

    It is one thing to dissent on behalf of the equality before the law in the treatment of various racial or religious groups. Quite another to dissent from America in favor of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Quite another still to riot in favor of racial supremacy - see also Charlottesville a couple of years ago.

    Freedom and rights do not, indeed cannot, extend to the freedom to abolish freedom itself. There the line must be drawn. Thus, the author's argument is in a philosophical, intellectual, epistemological and moral hall of mirrors.

    No right is absolute - including the right to dissent. Moreover, there is a moral, if not always legal, obligation to dissent within the parameters of right reason. To define one's right of dissent within the boundaries of the pursuit of virtue and, unless there be no alternative, within the limits laid down in law.

    The problem with this MyTake is that it fails to do so.
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    • Texaskid1

      I appreciate your response sir.

    • nightdrot

      Thank you for your kind reply and thumbs up.

Most Helpful Girl

  • MajesticTwelve
    Are you willing to deny anyone the right to vote due to gender? Yes, I'm a proponent of no right to vote for women. I don't need to vote, I don't want to vote. I vote because it's my duty to do so, and so I do, but as I've said many times before, take my right to vote away, so what? Look what happened to Canada, they have the worst leader of any modern western country that I can imagine. A pathetic cuck boy that has turned my opinion of our northern neighbors from "yeah, they're up there in the cold" to "Why don't we invade them as soon as possible and put an end to the communism, threat to our countries security and all their idiocy up north" all because horny middle aged women voted for a human bag of garbage. Totally sent that country back decades, and from what most are saying they won't recover (if they recover at all) until at least the 2070's.

    Are you willing to work under inhumane conditions for near starvation wages? Of course not.

    Are you willing to be limited – or have your children limited – to what school they can attend due solely to race or ethnicity? Yes. Absolutely. Some cultures just do not mix, they were never meant to. I'm of the opinion certain cultures don't belong in this country, and it would be just fine with me if any children I ever have never had to mix with some of them. Not all cultures or races are equal, just as not all people are equal.

    Dissent if you like, I often do about things like forced LGBT garbage being taught in the schools etc, but I'm careful about what I dissent about. Otherwise you become numb, people stop caring about anything at all, and you're just left being ineffective on subjects that truly matter.

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    • sissyDj

      Let me get this straibhy6 @MajesticTwelve you would want no right to be on your own unless as a nun teacher or nurse no right as to when you could cut hair and no right to choice what you want to eat or own a business or hold any place of power in any job

    • HereIbe

      Shut up and get me a sandwich and a beer, bitch.

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • hellionthesagereborn
    That is a complete mischaracterization of events. Yes its your right to dissent, its also their right to disagree with you. Why do they make these claims? HOW do they make these claims? I mean give an example of what was said and the response being leave. I've said that before, but it wasn't a statement or a demand, it was a question. IF you think that the entire nation is founded upon racism and hate, if you despise capitalism and the American way of life, if you think that the constitution is worthless and needs to be radically altered, then why are you here? Why do millions of people from across the world decide to become citizens of this nation EVERY YEAR? That's a legitimate question to ask. That's not an insult, that's not saying you should accept everything, that is a legitimate question. If every thing that this nation is is awful and bad and inferior, if you think every other nation does it better why be here? Most of us feel that our nation is quite good (and the data backs this) so all your doing is demanding that your beliefs be made manifest in our nation where the rest of us like it how it is. Sure their are injustices out their but as you have pointed out (although your very mislead on how these played out and how widespread or combative people where (for instance women never "fought" for the right to vote, men on the other hand literally did (we only get the right if we sign up for selective services, women opposed the women's right to vote specifically for this reason, because they didn't want to be forcibly conscripted into war.) but you have shown that when an injustice occurs Americans rise up, we fight it. It wasn't just blacks who suffered, the KKK routinely killed white republicans along side of them (about a third of their victims where white). It was americans who fought and died in the bloodiest war in our history to end slavery, they believed in what was right and just so much they gave everything to end it (something non americans wouldn't do for quite some time after the fact (and in less commited fashion too). White americans fought against slavery, they fought against the KKK they fought against segregation regularly. So we know that it wasn't just those who where wronged fighting these injustices, it was americans of all races, creeds and backgrounds who fought these injustices. When evil showed itself Americans fought it tooth and nail. Some times we screwed up, some times we screwed up big time, but we still tried and ultimately we have succeeded for the most part in whiping out most injustice. So when some one says we are evil and we should hate our nation, hate ourselves of course some are going to say leave then, but that isn't saying you cannot dissent, what it saying is we are not going to stand their and let you insult and belittle us, to tell us we need to be punished for wrongs we never commited, wrongs in many cases that we actively fought against and sacrificed many American lives to end, simply because you say we should feel bad. If you have an injustice that needs to be dealt with, say it, give data give an example and I can guarantee you that every true American will support the fight against that evil and that injustice. However right now all we are seeing is insults and false claims from people who hate us so much they want to poison us slowly and remove every thing that makes us American. So that's the issue here, not dissent (I mean honestly, our distrust of the government and our right to dissent is literally our defining characteristic as americans and is enshrined in our laws and constitution (something many of us still see as a sacred document).
  • lightbulb27
    Yes, the right to dissent, protest, to have ones voice heard... that is the value of these things. There is always someone who wants to take our freedom, control us... it's a fight against power, but there is a reason they exert that power.

    Why one would cling to a flag is how they envision their association to it. Kappernackle sees the flag different than the vetern... whose very life depended upon that flag.

    I find it interesting to note what political parties were in favor or against the items you had above, and who faught for what. that be an interesting post to see the true colors over time.

    In general, human beings don't want to change, it's how we are designed.. but change is required and good. It's a conflict. Getting a southern rich family in 1800's to give up slavery and way of life... they'll fight for "their right"..."their property". When others don't see it that way. Such conflicts when taken to extremes result in mass destruction. A risk we always face if we cannot sit at the table and talk and reach common ground. The civil war pains still run through the veins of this country.
  • CasaNorba
    kickass article bro!

    I agree, I think not having the right to dissent is pure fascism. especially now that we know what our is really all about
    Like 1 Person
  • Skadouchebag
    DAMN. *applause*. You are honestly one of the last people I would've expected something like this from. But more to the point, I can't help but notice that Trump himself didn't bother leaving at any point during the eight years of the Obama Presidency. Hypocritical, much?
    • Texaskid1

      Thank you. Most people associate me with my love for sandwiches.

    • I mostly associate you with your chauvanism.

    • Texaskid1

      So be it.

  • kespethdude
    I swear these exact same words are exactly what I'm thinking. This is pronbably the most patriotic MyTake ever.
  • N17RV
    I think I became American just by reading this
    Like 2 People
  • Joker_
    Interesting myTake
    Like 1 Person
  • Onepiece_fan2000
    Very interesting I completely agree with you
    Like 1 Person
  • Crazychickgold
    Thank you, completely agree.
    Like 1 Person
  • markscott
    Good post.
  • ItsAMeA
    Brilliant take!
  • Anonymous

    Eating my sandwich.