In defense of outspoken critics of U.S. policy

You want a cynical view of politics, of government, of the world and those who take a different view of issues than many “mainstream” Americans?

Ladies and gentleman, I present to you the president of the United States, Donald John Trump.

The president’s plea — which was heeded — to keep two freshman congresswomen from entering Israel personifies the cynicism that has infected his own notions and the thoughts of those who comprise his political “base.”

Trump says that Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan “hate America.” He says they “hate Jews,” and they “hate Israel.” They happen to be Muslim Americans. Omar emigrated to this country from Somalia when she was 12; Tlaib is a native-born American. Omar was naturalized; Tlaib is as American as I am, or is as American as Donald Trump.

They are outspoken in their world view. They are entitled under the U.S. Constitution they took an oath to defend upon taking office in Congress to speak their minds. They have every right to criticize U.S. government policy. Does that make them “haters” of the country? Of course not!

What’s more, let’s ponder this notion. Why would anyone who “hates” the United States run for a federal office and then take an oath that requires them to protect and defend the nation and the Constitution against those who would do us all harm?

We hear this canard constantly, starting with Donald Trump. It filters down to this core of supporters, who continue to harp on this idiotic notion that Reps. Omar, Tlaib and others of their ilk “hate” the country they were duly elected to serve.

Voltaire once said that while he opposes what one might say, he defends their right to say it.

So it should be with members of Congress who might speak intemperately at times. If that’s how they choose to express themselves, they have every right under our Constitution to have their voices heard.

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