Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Freedom of Speech.
We are taught about that freedom when we first learn to understand what it means to speak. It is what makes our country unique. Citizens of a country that are free to criticize their government any time they so choose. Other countries can’t. Some countries allow a watered-down version so their subjects think they are allowed to speak freely.
Asked about the importance of free speech, Dean Steacy, one of the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s lead investigators, actually said, “Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don’t give it any value.”
Canada. Canada, for goodness sakes! You would actually think they would have more sense than that. But what do you expect from someone on a “Human Rights Commission.” They are notorious for upholding anything but human rights.
Yet here in the United States, we can pretty much say whatever we want, whenever we want, wherever we want. There are exceptions of course. Yelling fire in a crowded movie house — or yelling movie in a crowded fire house. Take your pick. The Supreme Court has ruled that all political speech is protected. If you don’t like your elected representatives, you are free to voice your displeasure. As long as you don’t use “fighting words.” Whatever that means, I am not sure. I would suspect that would be up to a jury to determine as to what words would incite someone to violence.
Even with those few restrictions, you are free to speak your mind. About anything you like. This is my blog and I am free to trash Obama and his administration as the most corrupt, useless, socialist, presidency that this country has seen in its 236 year history. You may not feel the same. Start you own blog and have at it. You have freedom of speech.
But all is not right in AmericaLand. Now we have political correctness and hate speech. If you say something that someone else finds offensive, you can be labeled a fill-in-the-blank-ophobe, and that metaphorical nazi tattoo will remain with you for life. How could it be otherwise in today’s internet information age?
What these speech nazis don’t understand is the true meaning of free speech. The first amendment is not there to protect speech we like. Its purpose is to protect speech we don’t like. Think about it. If everyone liked everything that everyone else said, we wouldn’t need free speech protection. Everyone would be happy and be in agreement with what you say. And you would agree with them. Unfortunately, for the policitally correct crowd, I am not in agreement with everything they say and I’m sure they don’t want to cozy-up to me while I go into a long dissertation about free market economies and gun rights.
One of my favorite free speech moments came at my niece’s graduation ceremony from the University of California at Berkeley. The koolaidian english teacher was at the lectern bloviating about the greatness of Cal and how the free speech movement started there! Really?! I always thought the free speech movement started in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776 — but I’d have to check my notes.
So why am I writing this? Because the speech nazis want to stop you from speaking. They want you to say and think only what they say and think. If you disagree with them, you immediately get one of their hate labels. Even though they are the ones that hate. They hate you and me and anything you or I say. Because we speak the truth. And there is nothing a socialist or nazi or the politically correct hates more than you speaking the truth. Because someone else might hear it and then they might do the second most feared thing by socialists, nazis, or the politically correct; that person might think. And if they do, then they will do the third most feared thing; they will ask questions. And if that person cannot get satisfactory answers to those questions, they will investigate and answer their questions themselves. And when that happens, the liberal ideology crumbles. Because the biggest threat to socialism is freedom. Freedom to think, freedom to question, freedom to determine, freedom to speak.
Let freedom ring.