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Delegitimize?

Reader comment on item: Report on Hanan Ashrawi and Colorado College

Submitted by Jack Caughran (United States), Sep 23, 2002 at 12:07

Dr. Pipes says that we should "delegitimize voices such as hers" (i. e. Ashrawi's). "They have a perfect right to speak but they should not be awarded prestigious and highly-paid fora in which to promote those views."

That is undemocratic. America is strong precisely because it does not "delegitimize" speakers or viewpoints. That way all views get aired and a kind of Darwinian selection can winnow the good from the bad. American culture , from Madonna to MacDonald's, rules because we let everything compete. Delegitimizing only weakens. For example, outlawing certain kinds of stem cell research will only make other countries relatively stronger in certain fields of medical research.

Ashrawi may be wrong, but she is not illegitimate.
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