Back in elementary school, a response sometimes heard when someone was told they couldn’t do something was, “Nuh-uh, it’s a free a country.” And it is — as John Kerry told German students in Berlin during his first trip as secretary of state. In America, we have the right to be stupid.
“As a country, as a society, we live and breathe the idea of religious freedom and religious tolerance, whatever the religion, and political freedom and political tolerance, whatever the point of view,” Kerry said, adding that some wonder how the Supreme Court allows even some rather provocative forms of expression.
“The reason is, that’s freedom, freedom of speech. In American [sic] you have a right to be stupid — if you want to be,” Kerry asserted, unsurprisingly eliciting laughter.
He went on thusly (via Reuters):
“And you have a right to be disconnected to somebody else if you want to be.
“And we tolerate it. We somehow make it through that. Now, I think that’s a virtue. I think that’s something worth fighting for,” he added. “The important thing is to have the tolerance to say, you know, you can have a different point of view.”
Kerry headed to Berlin after stopping in London. The trip, concluding on March 6, also includes stops in Paris, Rome, Ankara, Cairo, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Doha.
Watch the report from CBS:
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