Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Myth of Free Speech

Whether it's democrat or republican, you will hear free speech often addressed. I'm not sure if either side truly believes in free speech. In Charlottesville, Virginia a small group of about 200, made up of neo-Nazis and average citizens, marched in protest to the removal of Confederate monuments honoring past war heroes. Many on the left believe those monuments represent traitors and slavers. I'm not going to debate that topic at this time.

The most concerning aspect, aside from those hurt, is the violence that happened because many on the left and some on the right didn't like the speech. It's hard to say who threw the first punch, but AntiFa and BLM were involved and both have a history of violence. When the police allowed the leftists to make contact with protesters, the outcome of violence was inevitable. Some believe the police encouraged this violence. We may never know exactly what happened.

Immediately after the violence broke out, conservatives and leftists began lining up on TV to condemn the White Nationalists without knowing details of events or allocating any blame to AntiFa and BLM. Conservatives feared being called racists so they didn't care about what really happened.

More and more people in America won't speak their mind for fear of being called a racist or some other derogatory term. Before the 2016 presidential election people refused to tell opinion polls they were voting for Trump. For this reason the media and parts of the nation were shocked when Donald J. Trump won the election.

What if that fear had gone to another level and people didn't vote for fear of retaliation by friends and family? If the day comes when names of people and how they voted are leaked, intimidation will become the political tool of choice.

Charlottesville happened because there is a movement by the left to remove all signs of the Confederate war. In some places even graves have been vandalized in an effort to have them removed. So far the courts have mostly sided with keeping the monuments, but not always. In South Carolina a Confederate monument was removed from State House grounds after lengthy court battles. Republican Nikki Haley stood proudly as she watched a crane remove the historical symbol.

History has been distorted to the point that Confederate monuments are being represented as symbols of hate, yet it wasn't hate for which these people died. Whether you like or dislike the monuments, they are a part of history. Some want the Jefferson Memorial removed in Washington, DC because he owned a slave. Some want the Confederate flag banned because some say it's a symbol of hate, yet more slaves existed under the United States flag.

Agree or disagree with any speech or symbol, using violence and mass coercion to eliminate them is simply a form of banning. All speech must be preserved because next week it might be your speech people might want removed. No speech or symbol is a reason for violence.

Should speech be allowed that calls for the taking of lives? It should be allowed because we then know from whom we must defend ourselves. If you silence hate you will be surprised when it appears on your doorstep. When you physically attack those who hate, you give the justification for violent retaliation. Violence always begets violence.

Some thought the Bill of Rights were a set of negative liberties because they believed all rights are granted by 'God' or 'Nature—All rights and liberties are innate. Man and government can only limit these rights and liberties. Government cannot grant what is innate.

The debate that has arisen is where does free speech begin and end. Some of the founders, Jefferson, I believe, indicated they began with birth and ended with death.  Is most pornography free speech? It is where the government is concerned, whether it be federal, state, or local. Society has often placed limits on speech because there are consequences for all speech. If someone is noted for speech against a particular race, they might find it hard to get a job, or find themselves fired from their current position. Fear of angering your neighbor or losing your job is enough control, mob violence is never the answer

Many of us trust the free market as the deciding voice. If there was no demand for porn it would cease to exist. We have seen races effectively ban words for a selected group of people. Even though government has said that races must be treated equally, society has limited the use of words by one race while allowing them for another.

The favorite term with the Tea Party is "We The People”. Society governs many of our actions and speech where the government has no power. We never want to give government this power because the government of tomorrow might not be one we favor, or favors you.

Violence to suppress speech and symbols will always be answered by violence. Sending a country into turmoil because a few hundred people believe in hate doesn't help your cause.

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