Asked what you thought about George W. Bush, your response was, "Uh, you know, I don't want to get Dixie Chicked."
Having been born in 1966, you aren't old enough to remember much of the Vietnam era, but I am. And what I remember is that the young entertainers of the time (including George Carlin, whom you list among your favorite comedians, and a whole lot of rock stars) were at the forefront of the anti-war movement--which was just as unpopular and derided in its day as opposition to the Bush League is today. But they persevered, and they kept asking the hard questions, and they kept the public thinking about the issues, until opposition to the war spread from its initial young base to more and more of their elders, finally forcing the national media to stop dismissing war opponents as hippies and radicals, and start taking the movement seriously.
I myself am not old enough to remember the McCarthy era, but I have read some about it. It was a bizarre time when defying the House Un-American Activities Committee could get an actor, screenwriter or director blacklisted by the major movie studios--basically put out of work, potentially for life. Some Hollywood figures caved to McCarthy's demands, denouncing their (sometimes non-existent) Communist pasts, turning in their associates, and helping to keep the witch hunt alive. Others refused, and sometimes paid dearly. Careers, marriages, and lives were destroyed. But those who stood up to McCarthy's bullying were eventually vindicated, and it was McCarthy who ultimately went down in disgrace.
Today America stands on the brink of a new McCarthyism. Disagreeing with the Bush administration can get you branded as unpatriotic or downright treasonous. But that's all the more reason for those who disagree with what's going on in Washington to speak up. And as a popular entertainer, you are in a unique position to do so.
Look at what's happening in California right now. Who's getting the most attention in the media and leading in the polls over 150 or so opponents including several with career credentials in government? An Austrian bodybuilder-turned-actor. Your talents have earned you celebrity; your celebrity has brought you wealth and power. You have a responsibility to use that power wisely.
If it hadn't been for the few lonely souls who spoke out against Joe McCarthy, might American freedom have been lost forever? If it hadn't been for Bob Dylan and George Carlin and Muhammad Ali and the other stars of their day who kept speaking out through their art and through their daily lives, who knows how much longer the US would have continued to fight unwinnable wars in Southeast Asia? If you and others allow yourselves to be cowed by the right wing, what will be the cost to future generations of Americans?
Chris, America needs you. Please don't hold back. Speak up and speak often about the madness that has infected American political thought. History will thank you--and your fans will stand by you. Did you notice that in the wake of the Clear Channel-sponsored boycott, the Chicks played to sold-out houses all across America?
[Edited at 10:22 PM. Memo to self: never post before the morning's first cup of coffee.]