Be grateful we can talk

Arne Grette, Backpage Editor


Typically, Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for what you have in your life. While somewhat heartless, sometimes the best way to realize what you’re grateful for is by looking at how terrible other places are.

Right now, in places such as Russia, political dissenters are being actively persecuted and attacked by the government. While horrible to hear about, it makes me realize how much I appreciate being able to laugh at our government and politicians.

It’s great to be able to read political news and hear people openly voicing their opinions on issues, however disagreeable or ridiculous they may be.

More specifically to Liberty, it’s clear that students take full advantage of their rights to freedom of speech. In the hallways, you can always hear spirited discussions on a variety of issues.

In some classes, students express themselves and their opinions through productions such as LSN and the Patriot Press. In other classes, students debate and write papers on issues—unafraid to express their opinions on the topic.

In other countries however, students don’t have this same right to free speech that we tend to take for granted. While it may seem like an inherent part of any society, it’s easy to forget that Americans had to fight for our right to speak freely.

While it may seem annoying to have to listen to uninformed opinions or those you disagree with, this Thanksgiving we should look around our community and be glad that we have the right to talk freely about the issues that matter.

When your relatives start arguing at the dinner table this Thanksgiving, take solace in the fact that in other parts of the world they can’t have those political discussions

With some of the human rights abuses occurring in other places of the world right now, such as in Russia in regards to imprisoning political critics, I realize how much I appreciate being able to laugh and openly despise some of our government’s actions. It’s great to be able to read political new and hear people openly voicing their opinions on issues, however disagreeable or ridiculous they may be.

While it may seem like a pain to listen to that one loud person that you disagree with, it feels good to realize that in other areas of the world people don’t have the right to scream their opinions, or have the right to hear ALL perspectives.

While open dialogue can occur between individuals, it’s also good for communities to be able to have a platform to discuss issues amongst themselves. At Liberty, the patriot press has always printed opinion articles in order to promote discussion and circulate different perspectives.

With the Issaquah Press closing down recently, the Issaquah community has lost a valuable voice in their city that promotes people talking about and hearing all sides of the issues that affect them and their neighbors.

While we should mourn the loss of voices like the Issaquah press, we should appreciate our freedom of speech and ability to discuss issues in our society; a right that many others around the world would die for.

One way to show thanks for our right is to use it. Political apathy and the unwillingness to use our right to free speech is one of the ultimate things that kills a democracy. People often moan about the dreaded political arguments between family members at Thanksgiving, but in reality it’s showing that we value our right to free speech and intend to make the most of it.