Editorial: Free to disagree

July 4, 2013


It’s easy to get frustrated with our American government, but a look around the world offers some good reminders of why U.S. democracy is worth celebrating on the Fourth of July and every other day of the year.

Americans certainly have reason to be disturbed by the partisan gridlock currently gripping the U.S. Congress, particularly the U.S. House. Too many of our elected representatives would rather take no action on a national issue than to accept anything that looks like a political compromise. Partisan victories are taking precedence over the nation’s welfare.

Some states, including Kansas, also are being wracked by partisan divisions. Texas, for instance, has been the focus of attention in the last week for State. Sen. Wendy Davis’ dramatic filibuster that temporarily derailed legislation to add sweeping restrictions to the state’s abortion laws.

There’s no doubt that Americans on both ends of the political spectrum are frustrated and angry. With that in mind, the Fourth of July is an appropriate time to remind all Americans how fortunate we are to live in a country that allows us to freely express our frustration with the government and many of our elected officials. We also have the right — and duty — to participate in that government. In a way, it’s good that people are angry, because it means they are paying attention to their government and seeing a need to change things. The next step is to translate that anger into action by running for office or supporting candidates who share your priorities.

American democracy offers a framework and stability that has served the country well for more than 200 years. Power moves smoothly from one set of leaders to another without violent protests or military coups, as so often happens in other parts of the world.

Americans have reason to be frustrated with the government right now, and our elected officials should hear that frustration and try to clean up their act. This is a great country, but its greatness is built on a spirit of compromise and a willingness to put aside narrow political interests in order to move the country forward. A win for your party isn’t always a win for the nation.

American democracy may not be perfect, but it gives us an unprecedented opportunity to voice our opinions and institute change. It’s a precious institution worth protecting and celebrating.

Happy Fourth of July.


Ray Parker 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Even the Church of Satan is trying to distance itself from the pro-abortion activists dissenting at the Texas capitol who shouted “Hail Satan” and “God is dead” and “Mary should have aborted Jesus” and “I hope your daughter is raped” as pro-lifers sang “Amazing Grace” in support of a Texas late-term abortion ban.

Church of Satan

Church of Satan by parkay


Trumbull 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Well I am going to be the devils advocate here. Compromise has done our country good. They are a part of checks and balances. But....... compromise is a slow process, especially when congress is filled with a bunch of knuckleheads who would like to see the country fail if it wins their party points. Who want to see the US treasury fail, to win their party some points. Just like the Republicans during the debt ceiling crisis.

So now-days, when we do get compromise, it is watered down, and ineffective like the Affordable Care Act. Our last big civil uprising was the hippie movement. And what did that get us? Richard Nixon.


Richard Heckler 9 months, 2 weeks ago


1968 November 5 - Richard Milhous Nixon, the 55-year-old former vice president who lost the presidency for the Republicans in 1960, reclaims it by defeating Hubert Humphrey in one of the closest elections in U.S. history. Post Story

1969 January 21 - Nixon is inaugurated as the 37th president of the United States. Post Story

1970 July 23 - Nixon approves a plan for greatly expanding domestic intelligence-gathering by the FBI, CIA and other agencies. He has second thoughts a few days later and rescinds his approval.

1971 June 13 - The New York Times begins publishing the Pentagon Papers - the Defense Department's secret history of the Vietnam War. The Washington Post will begin publishing the papers later that same week.

September 3 - The White House "plumbers" unit - named for their orders to plug leaks in the administration - burglarizes a psychiatrist's office to find files on Daniel Ellsberg, the former defense analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers.

1972 June 17 - Five men, one of whom says he used to work for the CIA, are arrested at 2:30 a.m. trying to bug the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate hotel and office complex. Post Story

June 19 - A GOP security aide is among the Watergate burglars, The Washington Post reports. Former attorney general John Mitchell, head of the Nixon reelection campaign, denies any link to the operation. Post Story

More on this Watergate event


Phil Minkin 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Why are we required to answer questions before seeing articles?


George Lippencott 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Another classic plea for all of us to get along!! But the kicker is that the villains are in the House – the Republicans. Could there be other miscreants?

We are admonished to become involved and run for public office. Of course the “Tea Party” frequently maligned in these pages is exactly that – a group of people involved because they want lower taxes and less government.

I remember the “Cold War”. Our friends the Soviets would make a demand. We would be pressured by our left to compromise. In those days we rarely made counter demands that could lead to a compromise without loss. The outcome was seldom favorable to us.

Of late we have corrected that lapse. The 30 % of us in the Democratic camp demand expanded public services and have in that pursuit created a massive annual deficit. They then demand a compromise - raising taxes and cutting public employees incomes. The Republicans refuse. The compromise demanded by the 30% of the population in their camp is from the baseline budget and not from the bloated deficit ridden mess we have today. They refuse to pay more taxes – they do pay a tidy sum!

I see little room for compromise on the basic issue of the scope of government. That discord colors all other efforts by our federal government. The only dream of the protagonists is to win total control of both branches of the federal government so as to be able to impose the full spectrum of the winner’s platform. All actions are to that end – and those actions include distortion and outright lies.

Perhaps we could find some compromise if we approach the fundamental challenge of the scope of government from the direction of just how much should the governments take from those in our society who are gainfully employed and pay taxes. That would help better scope the portion of the budget available to the many in our society who do neither.


seebarginn 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Critical thought, you are right that "the sound of one's voice" cannot stop things that governments do that citizens dislike, whether those things include items on your list (which I find to be undermined by exaggerations and factual inaccuracies) or other things that you might think are just dandy, but which others find oppressive. No, it takes much more than talk, or letters to the editor, or voting, or posting to message boards. It takes sustained, organized, sometimes very dangerous, hard work, but people have changed many things in this country, many of them for the better, as the African American freedom struggle proved. The work of that movement isn't finished either, but obviously, one's voice doesn't mean much unless one is willing to do more than talk or write.


jhawkinsf 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Rights and responsibilities are two sides of the same coin. You cannot have one without the other.


CriticalThought 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Free to disagree and land on an IRS list...

Free to disagree and lose your job...

Free to disagree and note how the sound of your voice does nothing to stop executive orders, the passing of thousand-page bills your congresspeople do not read, nothing to stop the weapons and money that are sent to the misogynist, human rights violating muslim brotherhood...

Free to disagree and end up in prison for a trumped up, bs reason with no recourse...

And while I'm thinking about freedom of expression, why are jlworld readers not allowed to comment on stories involving prostitution? Would be great if jlworld would STOP publishing the photos of the women who are charged with that...There is no need for the unnecessary further humiliation!


Pheps 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Thomas Jefferson some 237-years ago:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,”

“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”


fmrl 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I would like to comment on this but I know that these blogs are being monitored by the NSA.


Richard Heckler 9 months, 2 weeks ago

There is also concern about the impacts of "explosions" and how it must affect many many of our veterans who suffer daily with PTSD. The dramatic impact it could have on family members as well.

This concern has surfaced in the past. It surfaced again yesterday on radio news. Something to think about.

What is PTSD?


Richard Heckler 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Then why the intensive spy mechanisms on USA citizens?

And why this?

This policy deserves to be called in, put in the trash never to be seen again. "Rebuilding America's Defences," openly advocates for total global military domination” (Very dangerous position which threatens OUR freedoms and the nations security)

The WRONG Policy.






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