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A burning right of freedom

He's a Republican and no bleeding heart liberal. A Marine veteran of Vietnam, he reveres the flag.

But he opposes the useless proposal to amend the Constitution to make desecrating it a federal offense.

Here's what Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest of Maryland said about the measure passed by the House last week:

"It took me a few years to realize that Vietnam War protesters' right to be obnoxious, to be unpatriotic . . . was the essence of what we fought for. Freedom means the freedom to be stupid, just as surely as it means the freedom to be wise _ and no government should ever be so powerful as to differentiate between the two."

It has never been said better.

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