Tocqueville was prescient in his book DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA when he wrote:
I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America. The majority raises formidable barriers around the liberty of opinion; within these barriers an author may write what he pleases, but woe to him if he goes beyond them.
While he may have said “majority,” this also applies to conventional wisdom and elite opinion making. Clearly, the wide-angle (tongue firmly in cheek) debate of “bomb them now -or- bomb them later?” has been with us a long time. It is a cultural artifact, one institutions like media, think tankery and gummint have only amplified, and not created.11:02 am on January 3, 2009 Email Charles H. Featherstone