For some reason, I was in the mood for poetry tonight. I guess we all need escapes every once in awhile. I picked up Ogden Nash and had a few laughs. Then I picked up Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Great poetry is timeless. There was one of his poems that spoke of the greatness of living in a democratic society. For it is democracies such as the United States that dissent is the surest sign of freedom. We have the freedom of questioning our leaders, of questioning which direction our country should go. In an ironic way, it's the voice of the dissenters that help keep our country free and preserve our precious rights. The right of free speech, the right of freedom of religion, and all the other rights we as a nation are blessed with. While the voices of dissent may be shrill and illogical at times, their voices are needed. I am not sure when Whitman wrote the following poem but it as apt now as then in the 1850's or 1860's.

To The States

To the States or any one of them, or any city of the States, Resist much, obey little,

Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved,

Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city of this earth, ever afterward resumes its liberty

The men and women who serve in our Armed Forces defend with their very lives the rights of all Americans to voice dissent. They have succeeded in bringing fledgling democracies to the people of two countries long surprised by brutal governments and dictators.


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