amars, the people criticizing the Dixie Chicks are exercising the same rights as the Dixie Chicks themselves. Freedom of speech doesn't mean you're immune from having people disagree with you. It's always struck me as ironically amusing when people who say strong things complain about other people's reactions.
What I find more interesting is the debate over what an elected representative should do. There seem to be two main schools of thought. One says, he should follow the will of the people he represents because he represents everyone. The other says, he should follow his will because he was elected for his beliefs.
I'm not completely comfortable with either interpretation. (When I'm completely uncharitable, I'll say that President Clinton exemplified the former and President Bush the second exemplifies the latter.) That may be because I have severe doubts that any one person can be completely right all the time.
I can understand, somewhat, the idea that it's disenfranchising to be "represented" by someone with whom you disagree strongly. I don't really understand the notion that you absolutely must have someone who looks a lot like you to be represented sufficiently -- superficiality is the bane of representative democracy.
There was a point here, but it seems to have eluded me. Maybe it's still "the USA has never really resolved the debate over individual versus community interests."