Free Speech vs. Free Market - Why Boycotts Are NOT Censorship!

I would like to respond to Jeff Miers story "Silent persuasion" from the Sunday 4/13/2003 Buffalo News:

Mr. Miers quoted Johnny Marr as stating "Ignoring the people's wishes... there's no way this can be a good thing."

Whose wishes is he talking about? This was put in the context of the U.N. Well, if you count the French or Russian veto as a majority, then you might be saying something.

Clear Channel, Country singers like Tobey Keith, and the Rallies for America display and represent what the majority of people in this country think. They would not be successful if there was no market for their views.

Mr. Miers went on to quote Marr as saying "I certainly don't think this president reflects the America that I know and love."

Well, I don't think Marr knows the heartland of America very well. I'm originally from Buffalo, but now I live in "fly over country". I think people like Johnny Marr think that the views of America are defined by the opinions of those on the East or West Coast. This is not so.

Just look at the famous Red & Blue map of America which showed which counties/precincts voted for George Bush vs. those which voted for Al Gore in 2000. I'm not saying that those who voted for George Bush agree with the War in Iraq or that those who voted for Al Gore disagree with the War in Iraq. But, I'm pointing out that not all big decisions made in this country go along with what the people in big cities think.

Fort Wayne, Indiana is a city of about 200,000 people. Our "Rally for America" had 20,000 attendees (that's 10%). If NYC with 30 million people had an anti-war rally, they would need 3 million people to show up to reflect similar support for the opposing opinion.

And for Tori Amos to invoke Jesus' name as an opponent to the war does not take into consideration the behavior which went on by the "regime" in Iraq before we felt compelled to protect our future with the actions of war. What would Allah think about Saddam Hussein? Come to "fly over country" to understand the "spirit of America".

I cherish "freedom and peace". I agree with our action which will allow more freedom for the citizens of Iraq. I agree with our action which will allow more peace in the future because Saddam will not be around to offer $25,000 to families of homicide bombers or to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorists like those who attacked us without provocation on September 11.

I don't think music artists or actors/actresses should keep their mouths shut. I am for freedom of speech. But, that does not mean I have to agree with their opinions. And because I choose to tune them out does not mean I am censoring them.

If people were impressionable enough to simply believe something just because it seems the majority of people are saying something, then we would have more people who agree with the likes of Susan Sarandon or Tim Robbins. These people have a wide access to make their views known. And thinking people like me choose to turn them off.