Intelligent debate crucial to democracy
November 16, 2009 · 4:45 PM
On a recent visit to the Enumclaw Post Office, I noticed a table manned by two young men that had pictures of President Obama with a Hitler mustache. The table was filled with books and pamphlets from the LaRouche Political Action Committee.
I was curious so I walked over to engage the two young men in a discussion about why they had the pictures of Obama with a Hitler mustache and about the political philosophy they were espousing. I was interested in engaging the two men in a discussion, but they refused to talk to me. They clamped their mouths tightly shut and stared straight ahead trying to ignore me and my questions. To me, they seemed like a couple of 8-year-olds by their response.
Not being an ideologue, I don’t dismiss any ideas. In fact, I welcome different viewpoints. I believe in the right of the two men to have their table in front of the Post Office, (i.e. free speech). What I find puzzling is their total refusal to talk to anyone either inquiring or having a different opinion than theirs. Were the two men afraid, or simply not informed enough to answer questions and defend their positions?
If this is an example of the LaRouche supporters and their ideology, I can understand why they have never gained any popular foothold. Intelligent debate is the essence of democracy and free speech.