Here is the opinion column:
Politically, we are more in step with those flag-waving folks who turned out Saturday to protest the protesters. Terrorists flew planes into our buildings, not the other way around. And while Iraq seems a poor target in hindsight, pulling out now would create a void that enemies of freedom would no doubt fill.
Still, the "support our troops" crowd didn't make us proud on Saturday. They seemed to care less about being heard than shouting down the opposition. A man standing at Front and Market streets held a sign encouraging motorists to honk their horns if they supported the troops. A nice sentiment, but all of those horns struck us as a ploy to drown out the speeches of the anti-torture, anti-war crowd. Even louder, closer and more effective was the Everglades-type point boat speeding up and down the Neuse River.
When we were growing up, our parents and teachers taught us not to talk when someone else was talking. Unfortunately, civility has since disappeared from civil discourse in this country.
But we wonder if incivility is meant to mask insecurity. Our suspicion is that people who shout down the opposition are really afraid to hear what the opposition has to say.
Personally, we think people opposed to how America fights the War on Terror are well intentioned but wrong. But if America can listen to the president of Iran without shouting him down, can't we extend the same courtesy to our own citizens?