Liberty or Water?

1-1. This is to request a discussion of the propaganda value (positive or negative), for getting US citizens to work for majority elections, of citing the following quote by one Ahmed Hassan of Egypt [1]:

Freedom is a blessing, and there’s no equivalent to it.  It’s more important than food and water. When you eat in humiliation, you can’t taste the food.

1-2. I find in this quote a strong relationship to Patrick Henry’s famous “Give me liberty or give me death”, since if we interpret the Hassan quote literally, we have to see that thirst causes death. Substituting death for thirst and hunger, we end up with the same sense as the Henry quote.

1-3. Now my opinion in brief, about majority elections for the US, is that they are so important, as an intermediate step toward putting a stop to US torture and US international military aggression, that, as a step toward majority elections, US citizens should vote for Dr. Jill Stein, 2012 presidential candidate of the Green Party. To repeat my position in step-by-step form, here is what I suggest to my fellow US citizen:

  1. Elect Stein president, so as to
  2. promote majority elections, so as to create a public space in which it’s possible to argue for
  3. ending US torture and military aggression.

1-4. This position is very difficult to convince many citizens of, because they are taken in by the “good cop, bad cop” political blackmail of the two-party system, the prisoner’s dilemma that says if you don’t vote for Evil A, Evil B will surely be elected. Proponents of the blackmail go on to opine that Evils A and B differ in regard to the adequacy of supplies of food and water that the people shall have under the policies that Evils A and B are likely to carry out or promote, should they be elected to office.

1-5. To break the hold of that blackmail on the minds of my fellow citizens, strong methods of moral and emotional persuasion, if such can be identified, may be necessary. That is why I think we (those who oppose torture by US officials) should consider whether to use the above quote.

2-1. What do you think? Is this quote good to cite for convincing people to support majority elections, at the perceived cost of breaking free of two-party blackmail?  Why do you think the quote is good or bad for that purpose?


[1] Quoted in the New York Times, “Hope Glimmers in Long Lines at Polls in Cairo” by ANTHONY SHADID, November 28, 2011.

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