Mmm, JFK II, Is Freedom of Expression in Jeapardy

I came across this statement by John Kerry to the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 1971 .

bolding is mine.

Now tell me why a man who calls for the prosecution of television executives and comic book publishers for undesirable expressions will be no threat as president to the 1st amendment of the constitution of the United States.

I have my problems with Kerry, but this seems an indictment of society in general, and a valid point to make.

American society can be plenty violent, and doesn’t do a great job of shielding kids from that. This has proven ill effects, BTW.

He gets a pass on this point from me.

Yep. Pass on this one. He makes a valid point. It was also 33 years ago. If I were to be held to what I believed then, or said then…well, it wouldn’t be pretty.

So he basically does a nice paraphrase of “Let he who is without sin…” and you have a problem with this? Do you honestly read that quote and think he’s seriously saying round up all of those people?

I was never that gung-ho about Kerry, but every time you cite him lately I like him more and more. He produced some quite timeless gems, such as:

I hope he has half of that fire left in him today. If he does, the debates should be a joy to watch.

Thanks for the great cite, grienspace, and keep up the good work!

I give up. How? If you see any such man running for President, notify me and I’ll be sure to vote against him.

Kerry was saying that the conditions were perfect for producing a lot of Calleys. The U.S. was bogged down in Vietnam, basic trainees were being trained to hate “Charley” because it’s hard to fight and kill someone you don’t hate, the war was still being pushed and glorified in some circles, etc. Television news was tossing out grossly exaggerated body counts. Kerry was deliberately going overboard to make a point. Calley shouldn’t have decided all on his own to declare a personal war. A lieutenant doesn’t (or shouldn’t) have that much power. Couple all this with his probable frustration at never being sure just who the enemy is, or knowing exactly what his orders were, and you have a disaster in the making. Take the hill, give it back. Search and destroy. Our management of the whole war, even if you accepted the “domino theory” was an abject lesson in incompetence at the highest levels.

If President Kerry shows himself to be a foe of first amendment rights, we’ll just have to rally around a viable opponent, either in the Democratic primaries of '08 or from amongst the Republicans. He’s got to please us or we’ll replace him.

If you’re raising this as if it is to be of concern with regards to the forthcoming election of '04, umm, are you seriously suggesting that we juxtapose the Kerry comments above with the Patriot Acts I and II and conclude from that comparison that Kerry might, conceivably, by some less-than-ridiculous stretch of the imagination, be more of a threat to first amendment rights than the current administration??

Even if he actually meant “round 'em up and prosecute 'em” 30+ years ago, as mighty a stretch in interpretation that might be, I doubt that George “there ought to be limits to freedom” Bush is going to be a much better defender of your right to free expression. That was only like four years ago that W. made that comment.

Well, considering the responses to 911 as well, I’d suggest it doesn’t look good for you Americans either way on the freedom front.

Yeah, we got the Patriot Act, scouring libraries to protect us from all those nasty evil book readers. :smack:

You know what, grieny, I’ve about had it with your condescending “you Americans” attitude and your warnings that those of us who support Kerry are getting their wool pulled over our eyes by a liar who wants to take away our First Amendment rights.

Doesn’t Stockwell Day need his car waxed or something?

I’m sorry if I came across as condescending to Americans. I have always had the greatest admiration for America while cognizant of just a couple of shortcomings in my view related to the role of guns and medical care.

I have been on record expressing admiration for almost all American presidents prior to Bush during my lifetime with the exception of Carter whom I respect as a most honourable man. Does the fact that I’m not American morally disqualify me from commenting while “you Americans” get to choose the next leader of the free world?

[Holy Grail]
“See? See? That’s what I’m on about! They hate our freedoms! Everybody look, he’s hating our freedoms!..”

The period of the Vietnam War was a terrible time for the US. It was the longest war we ever fought, and most of us had no idea what a victory would look like. Kerry fought in that war, and came back home to protest it. I see no reason to question the sincerity of his desire to end that horrible chapter of US history. Maybe he exagerated. maybe he relied too much on the tesitomy of others, but I can’t see any reason on this earth to suspect that Kerry would want to suppress the free expression of ideas, per the 1st amendment, in America. I find the idea entirely preposterous.

No. No. No. Please continue. But, if you wouldn’t mind answering a direct question?

You’ve expressed admiration for everybody prior to Bush, yet you imply that Kerry is just another liar who wants to take away our civil liberties.

For the sake of arguement, I’ll make Canada the 51st state for the evening and give you the opportunity to vote for any man or woman in those 51 states.

Who’s your pick? What paragon of honesty and virtue should be “leader of the free world?”

Weeeeeeeell, since you put it that way, I’m really hoping for Clinton in 2008.