It always amazes me when someone will complain about the government on some issue, and then some blowhard comes back with, "You're lucky you live in a country where you have the right to criticize the government."
And the guy says it like the critic is a whiny teenager or something complaining to her parents about only getting the $300 cell phone rather than the $500 one she really wanted.
Do you think the government likes that we can mock them so openly? You've seen how choreographed Bush's public appearances were, where people in the crowd ask him "spontaneous" questions.
No, the reason people have liberties in this country is that a heck of a lot of people get outraged over stuff that would be no big deal in other countries. The government can't handle 85 different protests at once, so it picks its battles. There is a fluid front with our liberties on one side and the government's power on the other.
And we the people have been losing territory a lot in the past 100 years.
Every time someone writes a Letter to the Editor, complaining about the sexaholic Clinton or the warmonger Bush, it shows all of the people who read that section--and we're already isolating the group that the government must placate; the people who don't care about politics are irrelevant--that yet one more person confidently criticized the ruler of the country, and didn't get disappeared into the night.
That alone justifies the time it takes to write a Letter once in a while. And then if you're knowledgeable and articulate to boot?