“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” — Fake Thomas Jefferson
Actually, Thomas Jefferson never said or believed that, which makes perfect sense given that he was a very wise man and that phrase is nonsense.
Dissent can indeed be patriotism, but it can just as easily be foolishness, disloyalty, or even treason. Moreover, it’s hard to miss the fact that most people who use the phrase “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism,” seem to have an active dislike of their country.
A true American patriot may disagree with his government, criticize his nation’s policies, or refuse to go along with the majority of his fellow citizens, but he will also never turn his back on his own country or hold it in contempt.
“Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.” — Misquoted Ben Franklin
Ben Franklin, being a brilliant man, didn’t ever actually say the above quote. What he really said was, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
If you’re not a deep thinker, those may seem to be small changes, but those qualifiers make all the difference. People who truly bought into the original fake Franklin quote wouldn’t even put locks on their doors or child resistant caps on dangerous pills because even those tiny sacrifices of liberty for the sake of security would mean that they’d deserve neither.
“Jesus was a liberal.” — Liberal bumper sticker
Jesus, as Mike Huckabee famously said, “was too smart to ever run for public office,” and he was not, in any way, shape, or form, a liberal — or for that matter, a conservative.
If you’re a liberal and happen to believe otherwise, I’m sure you’d be in for a rude awakening if you ever had an actual discussion with Jesus about, say gay marriage, premarital sex, abortion, Islam, or prayer in schools. In fact, if Jesus were to come back tomorrow, chances are they’d be calling him JesusHitler on Daily Kos by the end of the week. Not that we conservatives would escape chastisement either, but at least we’re not so arrogant as to believe that our Lord and Savior would be filling in while Rush Limbaugh is on vacation.
“Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?” — Anonymous
The simple answer to that question is that’s not why we execute criminals. “(W)e kill people who kill people,” to discourage other people from following in their footsteps and to mete out justice for the victims and their families.
To be blunt about it, some people just deserve to die and if we can give them what they deserve in such a way that it saves other lives, that’s a good thing.
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” — Mahatma Gandhi
Violence may not solve everything (That quote still works), but conversely, that doesn’t mean it solves nothing. In fact, it’s fair to say that violence has been the greatest problem solver in the history of mankind, which is why we still have fights and wars despite all the problems those activities have caused throughout human history.
If anything, we’ve gotten to a point where we’re so far beyond avoiding taking an “eye for an eye” that we’ve actually started creating longer, more miserable conflicts as a result.
Look at Israel, for example, where you have ragtag gangs of Palestinian terrorists that have been fighting for decades with a military power capable of utterly crushing them in a few weeks time. Look at our own war on terror, where we’re wringing our hands about the “suffering” the terrorists may experience during the two minutes they’re being waterboarded. Meanwhile, they’re gleefully torturing our soldiers to death with power tools.
The point is not that we should always take an “eye for an eye.” It’s that violence does often work, there is a time to use it, and when we do need to use it, trading a tap on the wrist for a plucked eye isn’t necessarily the best strategy.