Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Patch Adams and free speech

Patch Adams and free speech

Patch Adams and free speech

I felt a mixture of admiration and sadness to read about the generous work of Patch

Adams as a clown and his strong attack on the US president and politics ("Patch

Adams: honk if you hate Bush," Phnom Penh Post, Oct 21).

I greatly respect Adams' commitment to helping sick people around the world to have

a moment of joy by using his humor as a talented doctor and comedian.

However, I was quite disappointed at his criticism of capitalism (which is an aspect

of liberal democracy) and his praise for communism.

Of course, there might be something bad about President George W Bush and his policies,

but I think that the US democracy as well as other genuine democracies in general

are the only best model of governments we should all champion.

In a real democracy, people can enjoy all sorts of civil and, especially, political

rights which differentiate men from animals. (A philosopher defines human being as

"a political animal," because a human has the ability to think. So, if

we have no political rights and freedom to think and express our opinions, we are

not truly better than other animals.)

Actually, Patch Adams was lucky to be born a US citizen, which has enabled him to

enjoy all kinds of rights and freedoms. He could even get away with his verbal attack

on the US president. Had he lived in a communist or authoritarian society or even

in some "absurd" democracies, he would surely be jailed or punished for

"defaming" the president or the prime minister.

It was useful, though, that he made his fierce remarks about President Bush and his

administration's policies. It could serve as an example to other leaders of "democratic"

countries around the world that this is what free speech and free press in a free

democracy are all about. And that you wouldn't be imprisoned or murdered just by

expressing your opinions - including harsh criticism of the government.

Moeun Chhean Nariddh, Independent Media Trainer Phnom Penh

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,