Inflaming the masses, deleting comments, and responsibility
Ann Scott and the girl with the dragon tattoo

An interesting question of freedom

A young man from Venezuela approached Crowley Political Report last week with a penetrating question.

He was among a couple of dozen students at Lynn Univeristy who spent an hour listening to a talk about politics and the media. It was an international group with kids from Italy, Antigua, Dominican Republic and other countries.

After the class, a number of the foreign students gathered around to ask more questions. The quiet young man from Venezuela posed his question this way:

"In my country, Venezuela, if you oppose Hugo Chavez he will shut down the newspaper or the television station. He does not allow opposition."

The young man shook his head clearly unhappy with how the leader of his country treats his opponents.

But then he asked this: "you can say anything you want here but don't you think it sometimes goes to0 far?"

Of course, the easy answer is that Americans would rather have their often angry discourse than have none at all.

And you could sense that this young man wouldn't mind importing our First Amendment to Venezeula.

But, after watching Americans up close, the young man wondered if there was not some middle ground.

Perhaps debate without acrimony.

It was a sobering conversation.

What impression are we leaving young people - both here and around the world - when they witness our often angry political debate?

And what are the consequences of what we are teaching them?


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