Rice referred to Natan Sharansky, apparently quoting from the new book The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror. In a December 17, 2004, FrontPage interview with Sharansky, the current Minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs, Jamie Glazov asked Sharansky to distinguish between a "fear society" and a "free society". According to Sharansky:
- "Free societies are societies in which the right of dissent is protected. In contrast, fear societies are societies in which dissent is banned. One can determine whether a society is free by applying what we call the 'town-square test.' Can someone within that society walk into the town square and say what they want without fear of being punished for his or her views? If so, then that society is a free society. If not, it is a fear society."