"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
...so said John Kerry, our new Secretary of State, to an audience of German students today in Berlin. Mr. Kerry is on his initial "world tour" as U.S. Secretary of State, and will be making stops in London, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Ankara, Cairo, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Doha before returning to Washington, D.C. on March 6.
In his remarks, Mr. Kerry was defending our concept of freedom of speech. The full context of the remark I extracted is provided here:
"People have sometimes wondered about why our Supreme Court allows one group or another to march in a parade even though it's the most provocative thing in the world and they carry signs that are an insult to one group or another," (Kerry) added.
"The reason is, that's freedom, freedom of speech. In America you have a right to be stupid - if you want to be," he said, prompting laughter. "And you have a right to be disconnected to somebody else if you want to be.
"And we tolerate it. We somehow make it through that. Now, I think that's a virtue. I think that's something worth fighting for," he added. "The important thing is to have the tolerance to say, you know, you can have a different point of view."
While I agree with Mr. Kerry's thought and understanding of the concept, I wish he would have stated it more....well...."stately."
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