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Hatred, criticism and dissent

Reader comment on item: Hating America's Success

Submitted by Bill Keane (Australia), Oct 26, 2004 at 00:39

It would be inaccurate to confuse anti-Americanism with disapproval of the Bush administration. A dozen or so leading newspapers in countries like Australia, Canada and Spain recently held coordinated polling on support for America and the presidential candidates. The results are illuminating. With the exception of Israelis, the majority of participants held a poor view of the Bush administration, yet still viewed the USA positively. This distinction is important yet there are those who will blur it to suggest that anti-Bush equates to anti-America. Why on earth would they do that, I wonder?

It is also dangerous to confuse hatred with criticism and dissent. A healthy democracy need have no fear of criticism and a just society is tolerant of dissent. "With us or against us" is the rhetorical position of a person who suspects, deep down, that their position is unjustified.
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