CULTURE

Freedom of Speech not Freedom from Speech

In light of the banning of Alex Jones from several social media sites, it seems necessary to revisit the obvious, which can be stated in the simplest of terms: just because someone says something that you don’t like does not give you the right to suppress their freedom of speech.

Since last year I have come to the defense of public figures such as Ben Shapiro, Milo Yiannopoulos, and David Murray as they were facing extreme, and sometimes violent, opposition at their speaking engagements. I didn’t come to the defense of these individuals because I agree with every word they say, or even the manner in which they convey their beliefs. I came to their defense because, like every person in this country, they have certain unalienable rights. One of those entitled rights is the freedom of speech.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that we are protected from speech, in fact, it explicitly states the opposite:

“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.”

You can read it until your eyes hurt. You can even read it upside down, backwards, and maybe even sideways, and you will not find the words “freedom from speech.”

We all understand that spreading false information allows for individuals to be deceived. There is not one person reading this right now that has not been misled by a politician or any mainstream news site. Yet, what are we to do every time we are lied to or deceived by those who are supposed to tell us the truth?

It seems like one of the prevailing notions in response to the dissemination of misleading information is to ban every politician that has ever said a lie or spread false information. If so, we might as well lock the doors of Congress and the White House and leave our politicians scrambling outside looking for an Uber to take them home. Or, in a much more reasonable and democratic way, we can just cast our vote on election night and use our Constitutional rights as citizens to let them know that we no longer approve of their politicking.

The next prevalent notion deals with the bias which can be encountered in almost every news outlet around the world. Certain disgruntled individuals, immediately after discovering any remnant of bias, clamor on social media that the outlet in question should be banned, or at least regulated. If we are to ban the media from our lives because they said something we don’t like, which occurs to those watching any of the major mainstream news channels, we might as well throw our t.v.’s out the window, because every time we turn it on someone will be saying something we don’t like. But doing so would be somewhat of a stupid idea, because although Fox, CNN, MSNBC, and other news organizations are biased in their reporting, we would be mildly uninformed about important topics regarding the nation if we were to disregard what they are saying entirely.

We have seen the dangers on our college campuses and our work environments when we allow the politically correct culture of the left trample on free speech. Whether it’s invited speakers who are violently expelled from campus or Christian bakers who are forced out of business because of their religious convictions, the dangers of suppressing someone’s freedom of speech are real.

BAN HATE SPEECH?

Another danger that we are currently facing is that those on the Left want to regulate what they consider hate speech, despite the fact that 82% of “Americans agree that it would be difficult to ban hate speech because people can’t agree what speech is hateful and offensive,” according to the CATO Institute.

How exactly does the Left think it is going to regulate what is hate speech and what is not? To find the answer you can watch The Office Season 2 Episode 14. In one of the scenes, Michael Scott (Steve Carrel) is stating to the office that he has been a victim of a hate crime because someone defecated in his office. When Stanley Hudson (Leslie David Baker) tells Michael that what has just occurred does not constitute a hate crime, Michael yells, “WELL I HATED IT!”

This example pretty much sums up the situation we find ourselves in because we have allowed the left to hijack every part of the social fabric that has made this country great. Without freedom of speech there is no way to voice our concerns about the injustices that are faced not only in this country but around the world. Without freedom of speech there is no freedom.

Not only is it unconstitutional, but it is downright dangerous to go down the road the mainstream Left is leading us on, especially when it is steadfast in its disdain for conservative speech. Excluding members of our society just because they hold and express different views than the majority is not the America the Founders would be proud of. Freedom of speech holds true regardless of your sexual orientation or political and religious affiliation. Freedom of speech is a right ALL Americans can prosper from, not just those who we agree with.

 

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