American Dissent Highly Valued

April 20, 2003

"Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception."
-- Mark Twain (1916)

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American Public." --Former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, in challenge to President Woodrow Wilson's crackdown on dissent following America's entry into World War I (1918)

"A public that hears only praise and no criticism will predictably answer "yes" to pollsters who ask whether the President is doing a good job."
-- Mark Weisbrot , co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington D.C.

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism" -- Thomas Jefferson