Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Democracy Is Great

Letter to the NY Times:
To the Editor:

Re “Mr. Ahmadinejad Speaks” (editorial, Sept. 25): In commenting on the appearance of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia, you say, “Unlike Iran’s citizens, Americans have the right to laugh at leaders.” Yes, we do have that right, and I’m glad for it.

But when was the last time President Bush appeared before an audience that laughed at him? His audiences are always screened for potential troublemakers. People wearing T-shirts or carrying signs with critical messages are kept out of view. He barely has to face a difficult question from a member of the public.

It would be nice if we could exercise the right to laugh at our leaders where they might actually hear the cackles.

Doug Henwood

New York, Sept. 25, 2007
(And just to be totally clear, I am not Doug Henwood. But I do endorse his views!)


Toddy said...


Kris said...

To answer your question, Hammer Loop decided to quit her blog. I was very sad too. She's doing fine though otherwise, I think.

MK said...

Oh, admit it. You just got this from my blog. ;-)

Octopus Grigori said...

Wow, funny coincidence. Unfortunately, no, I hadn't checked your blog before this post, but I am glad I did just now. Very interesting post on the Ahmadinjad fiasco.

In any event, it is quite interesting that we were both so struck by this one letter. I think the letter makes a very significant point that we lose in all our self-congratulation about our openness and democracy.

MK said...

All the letters on that topic were interesting. It is rare that such an intelligent bunch make it through into the NYT.

But fundamentally, this whole spreading-of-democracy nonsense is a result of a misinterpretation of what WWII was all about. I will bloag about that in the near future.