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Dissent is Messy




What we are seeing here is what we are seeing all over the country. Namely, that it is easier to love the tenets of the United States Constitution than it is to allow those tenets to be acted upon. That's because when actual dissent happens -- the dissent that is the hallmark of our democracy -- it gets messy, and we really kind of hate messiness. All that shouting, all those emotions, all those bodies that require an occasional outhouse. After all, we're trying to run a tidy little government here, people!

The danger is that while our county supervisors rush to implement an ordinance aimed at ameliorating the messy old protest (Blog Jammin, April 5), they are chipping away at the ability of their fellow citizens and constituents to exercise constitutional rights. There is a tipping point somewhere along the continuum between totalitarian fascism and violent anarchy; the problem is that those in a position of power often don't see the trajectory of their decisions until the rights of others have been severely impinged, and the social balance goes far out of whack.
Jimmy Smith, Clif Clendenen, Virginia Bass and Ryan Sundberg, while I am not surprised at your choice to hurry this ordinance through, I am nevertheless dismayed. John F. Kennedy said, "Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate." When such a weighty matter -- namely, the First Amendment right to free speech of your fellow Americans -- is directly affected by the outcome of your decision, it seems that time and utmost circumspection should be your watchword. That is not what happened in Humboldt County.

Carla Baku, Eureka

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