Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

A Lesson in Free Speech

Elton John whined to BBC News about "censorship" in the US, which he blames on the administration’s bullying tactics. The article states that he "likened the current ’fear factor’ to McCarthyism in the 1950s." His evidence is the different treatment received by pro- versus anti-war artists:

"On the one hand, you have someone like Toby Keith, who has come out and been very supportive of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq - which is OK because America is a democracy and Toby Keith is entitled to say what he thinks and feels.

"But, on the other hand, the Dixie Chicks got shot down in flames last year for criticising the president. They were treated like they were being un-American, when in fact they have every right to say whatever they want about him because he’s freely elected, and therefore accountable."

What Sir Elton fails to recognize is that this was not a government response, but a listener response. Bush didn’t hold protests against the Dixie Chicks, country music listeners did. Elsewhere in the article, Elton longed for the anti-war glory days of the 60s. It seems apparent what he is not looking for is free speech, it is anti-war speech. What he fails to recognize is that when Americans get together to say that they don’t like artists trashing the American President on foreign soil, that is also free speech.

Discussions - 13 Comments

As usual, very well said Mr.Alt.It seems that some think that free speech is only for those who are not supportive of our president... those that are anti war. God help us if Mr. Bush is not re-elected!

Don’t know what we will do when you return and we can’t look forward to your articles. Check several time a day for articles and pictures. Thanks,God Bless you, the troops and our leaders.

When the likes of Elton John are knighted, it clearly demeans the entire character of knighthood. Who will be next, Michael Moore?

Indeed it it quite interesting to note how many people give so much credence to entertainers and actors(who spend their entire careers pretending to be something they are not) instead of the leaders who actually get up every day and deal with the problems of the real world.

Of course, some Presidents, like Clinton and Carter actually had to pretend they knew what they were doing. History makes it clear they did not.

Apparently for Sir Elton some of the animals are more equal than others.

I can only defend Elton by saying I love his music, but this is really absurd. Many in Hollywood have been missing crying over their supposed free speech being infringed when other people don’t want to hear them. Just recently Slim Fast fired Whoopi Goldberg, and she complained that her free speech rights were violated. This is just sillyness. Whoopi, and anyone, can say whatever they like about the Bush administration. The government will not stop or punish them. The reasonable people of this country might object to what these stars emote, but the stars must realize that regular Americans have free speech as well, and can put elitist entertainers in their place.

I love Elton’s music as well, but he even has it wrong about Toby Keith. Mr. Keith has been very careful not to give a public opinion about his personal politics. The issue all along with Toby Keith has been that Americans should not attack their own sitting President while standing on foreign soil, talking to foreigners. Thats it. He hasn’t said anything else regarding politics, except that he was raised by a staunch southern Democrat.

You are right-on as usual, Mr. Alt. It was the fans, or former fans, of the Dixie Chicks who censored the group for the careless remarks offered by the performers overseas, of all places. As for Elton John, he’s just an "ole hippy and he don’t know what to do" so he runs his mouth, a privilege accorded him in a democracy. But I wish he’d just write some more good music instead.

P.S. Whoops! I mean censured. Pls.excuse the spelling faux pas!

Hildred-
Nice rant. What does that have to do with Elton Johns perception of Toby Keith and The Dixie Chicks?

i’m american and i most definately DO NOT support bush. no person has the right to pass laws that tell me what i can and cannot do with my own body. even though i don’t approve of late term abortion, it is still the right of the woman to choose what she does with her own body. NOT ANYONE ELSE! he clearly has a problem with homosexuals. while i’m not homosexual, i feel they have the right to be married just as any man to a woman do. it’s NOT his business and no one else’s! for a free country, we certainly are losing our ’freedoms’.............

yes i was ranting. before someone asks me what it has to do with elton’s comment........... AS AN AMERICAN i would say what i want about bush be it here in america or in another country. and i agree 100% with what SIR ELTON JOHN said.

While I do not subscribe completely to Michael Moore’s concepts, I do agree oil is the capital of the modern world.
So when President George W. Bush sends American soldiers to Iraq, there are three oil consultants for every soldier. The consultants not only get paid ten times what the soldiers get, but are ten times less likely to get killed or maimed – for all the protection they get.
After all, Bush – if not the American people – knows what this war is all about.
While soldiers may be fighting to free Iraq, the consultants are there to free up the oil.
So which do you think is more important to the President?
If you don’t know, I have a few bridges I can sell you.

Well for 1, Elton John does have a Point...I mean, common the Bush Adminstration is an Outrage, and I am overwhelmingly tired of there Continuous lies, and excuses...The Bush Administration fails to Understand that the WHITE HOUSE’s Misunderstanding, caused us to Enter Iraq, Not 9/11, it was Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban..So yes in 2008 when I am able to vote, I am definetly NOT VOTING G.O.P.!!!!

If I were you, Michael, I’d just be grateful that there are no more literacy tests for voting.

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