Freedom. Of. Speech.
Everyone throws that phrase around like it means saying whatever you please, without thought or rationale, never checking for any connection or relationship to the truth however distant and disregarding any and all consequences resulting therefrom. There is the Constitutional protection that American citizens have from government censorship. In addition, our privacy laws guarantee us the freedom to say what is on our minds to friends and family when we are not in public. (We hope) Otherwise, we all have to watch what we say!
It is a controversial subject these days. The mainstream media (MSM) along with the liberals are trying to shut down conservative commentators, talk show hosts and other prominent conservative political pundits. (I will make an exception of Fox News as it is the only place you will see a clip of Donald Trump condemning David Duke in 1991). Republicans, Libertarians and conservatives have been successfully rolled up into one group for ease of branding. The branding from the left has been constant, vitriolic and specific. Most of the allegations have been of a racial nature or being accused of corruption like the establishment Republicans. Nothing shuts down civil discourse between two ideologically opposed groups of people faster than a racial accusation or slur! The MSM has been very helpful in this cause. There are many places now where conservative thought and speech is considered offensive and unacceptable (read Silicon Valley, Hollywood and most major universities). One’s job can easily be lost if it becomes known that company politics and attitudes are not followed. It does seem as though freedom of speech is becoming more restricted.
I hate to sound like an old hippie, but I do not know how else to say this. My generation called for free speech, demonstrations, protests and sit-ins. We did get our say by utilizing those tools and by working around and through the system. I admit that there were rough spots, but the vast majority took Gandhi and Martin Luther King to heart. Flower power was not for running our cars! Peace was more than a slogan that sounded cool and no one ever thought that sitting down somewhere and refusing to move could fail to bring out administration for “a chat”. It usually worked.
What the kids are doing now is self-defeating. It brings no one to the table. Nobody is inclined to listen to a violent mob, if anything one would be much less so. Suddenly, speaking out against the rioting and the violence brings accusations of racism, white supremacy and prejudice, etc. This is the left using language and political correctness to manage society and public opinion. It is not First Amendment. It is not even honest or truthful. It closes the discussion and the two sides hate each other because of name calling. We were better than this ten to fifteen years ago! We are regressing!!
I am making these points because more people complain to me every day about the loss of their First Amendment rights. What they are really complaining about is the control over politically correct language that the left exercises mercilessly. Part of that control is our fault because we give in and abide by their rules, we stop speaking out because we are afraid.
If we want to remain free and if we want to stop the long slow progression towards allowing the left to write and pass these politically correct but Constitutionally offensive ideas into law…then we had better support our President, vote conservative in 2018, check voting records and become more aware. The establishment Republicans are every bit as guilty and bad as the Democrats. We need Representatives who want to do the right thing, work with our President to lower taxes, straighten out health care, kick out the lobbyists, strengthen the military and audit the pentagon not make themselves rich!