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Freedom at Risk

Twitter has banned the President of the United States from sending tweets. Parler, an alternative social media platform that does not censor speech, was de-platformed by Amazon, Google, and Apple. What is Big Tech afraid of? These big companies have more power over the ability of people to speak freely than any nation or company in the history of the world. With TV news media all being monopolies, the public now only gets one side of the story.

I think these liberal left-leaning globalists swayed the US election. The New York Post published a thoroughly researched article on Hunter Biden’s laptop. They reported on the salacious material on it. There is information on Hunter receiving enormous amounts of money from China and Russia. Facebook promptly suspended the newspaper’s account so the story could not be shared. Now, any post about possible election fraud is flagged or blocked. it doesn’t matter that more people voted than were registered.

How important is the freedom of speech? The political drama of the assault on the Capitol has unleashed the fury of the Democrats. Where were they when our cities were burned by mobs, stores looted, and streets blocked by marchers? Now they line up for another run at impeaching President Trump, an effort doomed to failure. Alan Dershowitz has pointed out that President Trump’s rally in DC was pure advocacy, not incitement. As such, it is clearly protected speech under settled laws already upheld by the Supreme Court.

American novelist Brad Thor said, “Freedom of speech includes the freedom to offend people.” Philosopher Voltaire said, “I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” George Washington said, “If freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”

At birth our nation went through an identity crisis: whether to be a loose association of states or be a stronger nation, a Constitutional Republic. One of the issues that caused much debate was whether the Constitution sufficiently protected the rights of individual citizens from the power of the central government.

The states eventually ratified the new Constitution but only after it was agreed that a Bill of Rights would be attached that had explicit protections. Without this compromise, the nation would have remained fragmented. Men of extraordinarily strong opinions and differing beliefs were able to come to agreement. Why? Because they listened to each other. Fortunately, there are volumes of letters and documents from that fascinating era. The letters of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Adams are filled with ideas being hotly debated, plus the history, logic, and reasoning behind them. A political fusion of great ideas was thrashed out over months of intense debate.

James Madison became the chief formulator of the first ten amendments to the Constitution known as the Bill of Rights. His thinking and his political prowess was formidable as he brought disparate views into a coherent document to which everyone could agree. He wrote, “The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable.” Without freedom of speech - to discuss, debate, even disagree - America loses an essential liberty.

When I was a senior in High School, I won the Florida State Exchange Club annual speech contest. It was on the subject of freedom of speech. I quoted Patrick Henry, an orator and strong advocate for American independence, who said in 1775, “Give me liberty or give me death!”


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