For Your Consideration: Free Speech

By / For Your Consideration / Wednesday, 23 March 2016 04:00

Contributing Writer

Our nation seems to be having a problem with one of the rights in the First Amendment, free speech, which is perceived as a God given right of individuals to express their concerns on any number of subjects in any manner they chose, there have been laws passed that protect private citizens from libelous speech, but it would appear that this does not cover political candidates, or it’s not contested because most politicians employ this tactic in their campaigns. It would be nice if the person addressing a concern could present their objection or concern in a rational manner without using distasteful emotive rhetoric, but that does not appear to be a viable option for a large portion of the human species.
Free speech serves many important functions in our culture, it gives individuals an opportunity to express their concerns about the actions of our government, and some concerns may be related to changes in our culture that may be perceived as destructive. Free speech can also be used to evaluate where the individual is coming from, and that ability can be a valuable aid for sizing-up a political candidate’s worthiness for the position he/she is running for, if they are using rhetoric that is primarily emotive, and with very little substance, the prudent thing to do, in most cases, is to discount the candidate, the problem that the electorate is faced with today is that a large portion of the candidates rely on emotive rhetoric.
Hate speech should be protected, it’s important to know when the culture is having a problem, and true hate speech is very apparent when it’s being used, but we don’t need the government telling us what is or is not hate speech, this approach often takes the form of censorship, which eventually leads to a dictatorship. It’s better to have hate speech out in the open, so it can be refuted, putting the problem out of site does not solve the problem, it only allows it to fester to a point that it’s almost impossible to deal with on a rational level when it finally erupts into the culture. Even when the hate speech is in the open it’s difficult to address with reason alone, but through proper actions by our society and government the falsehoods that perpetrators are using can be removed from their hateful rhetoric. The biggest problem that we face with getting any assistance from the government, is there are elements in both political parties that find it advantageous to encourage splitting our culture into groups, this allows the parties to divert our attention away from the real problems that the parties are creating to attain their political agendas, the electorate needs to stay on its guard to prevent the Establishment from manipulating its behavior.
Free speech does not allow one to limit or deny the free speech of others, nor does it allow for the disruption of the lives of citizens that are not involved in the discourse. Demonstrations that impede the free flow of traffic, vandalize property, or cause injury to individuals are not demonstrations, they are abusive lawless acts carried out by anarchist that need to be prosecuted for disrupting the lives of citizens and for the denial of another’s right to free speech, we have not reached the point of a full dictatorship yet, even if we are getting very close to that point.
This is a topic that deserves more in-depth attention than it can receive in this column at this time, but some of the points that have been made here should spur individuals to put more thought into some of the problems with free speech and lead our culture to come up with ways to capitalize, in a positive fashion, on a freedom that is an important part of our culture.
One can expect more coverage on this subject, because there will be a push by forces that wish to
dominate the citizenry to distort and misuse the concept of free speech.


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