"The citizen who criticizes his country is paying it an implied tribute."
J. William Fulbright
(1905-1995) US Senator
Speech, American Newspaper Publishers Association, 28 April 1966
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Reader comments about this quote:
Only if the criticism has merit. Otherwise he is just another foolish ass.
 -- helorat, Milton     
    Even if the criticism has no merit, the implication is still there.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    An implied tribute is that you have the freedom to criticize with a perceived ability to change that which you disagree with.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Disagree. To give merit to the meritless to give moral equivalence to evil and to teach that to make judgements and discriminate is bad, is to debase freedon, truth and all that is worthwhile. It is this type of moral relativism that is destroying the ability of our society to think, decide and act properly. Evil must be confronted, fools must be disabused or disenfranchised, and judgements must be made and acted on.
     -- helorat, Milton     
    What has 'merit', what is 'moral', and what is 'evil' are all personal and subjective. These things are learned -- some via 'education' and others via experience, reason, and free thought. What is more important IMHO is 'what is true', whatever it may be. To be able to criticize is indeed a tribute even if the speaker is 'wrong'.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    A government that allows itself to be criticized is at least in part working properly. The government that silences dissent or even criticism is well on the path to dictatorship. That being said, our own government has already taken the first steps to squelch criticism when/if it passes hate speech laws that are meant solely to stop debate and declare a winner. It is not government's job to be the arbiter of morality and evil. It's job is to reflect the will of the people and the natural rights of individuals in it's laws.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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