Freedom of Speech; a two-edged sword

In Articles, Bill of RIghts, Black Coffee Perspectives, Constitution, Education, Patrick James, Patriotic Self Reflections by Patrick JamesLeave a Comment

As I enjoy the cooler weather this morning, the usual flow of black coffee stimulates my perspectives. This morning it leads me down the path toward the truths regarding Freedom of Speech and our protected rights under the First Amendment. Is it a two-edged sword?

We hear a lot of talk about free speech nowadays. From news and social media outlets to high profile personalities and politicians. They want to say whatever tickles their fancy, but are doubling down via censorship, suppressing that same free speech they don’t agree with.

Supposed unbiased fact checkers are seemingly censoring and reprimanding on these town hall platforms, keeping that paycheck rolling in by making their employers happy. As the management of these platforms continue doling out severe algorithmic restrictions and perma-bans of the accounts they fear most, like Cold Dead Hands admins personal pages.

They attack at random (or seemingly so), whoever they want, whenever they want, without fear of repercussion as they continue to enjoy their privilege from a brokered deal with our government. A deal that may have cost We the People dearly, presuming we had true town hall free speech platforms to begin with. These companies are continuing to hide behind the veil of FCC exclusions and there doesn’t seem to be anyone holding them accountable.

They are censoring carte blanche, presuming nobody can say jack about it; and for the most part, they are right. They provide nothing but the rules to the game. The players are left trying to figure out how to play it and win the prize (it may be fame or money), but once we start to win the game, they quickly change the rules again, in their favor.

So what is the answer to maintaining our free speech? Is it in building another free speech town hall platform or participating in conversations on those platforms? I believe we need to understand what free speech actually is first. Then we need to figure out who owes it to us, before we can trust another well-intentioned corporation to fix it.

The First Amendment protects our right to say what we want. Period. Although what we say needs to have some shreds of credibility and truth, or people will not continue listening to us. It reminds me of the story of the boy who called wolf, eventually people stop listening. You might have a right to say it. That right may even be protected for you by our government, but it is from infringement by that government. If your words don’t contain some truths, importance or relevance to others, they will likely only be heard within the echo chamber of your mind.

So let’s take look at the wording of the First Amendment verbatim;  

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.

In a past article I discussed the latter part of the first amendment; the right of the people to petition the government for a redress of grievances. I will break down the religious aspects in another article as well as a free press and assembly.

Special Interests. Factions. Lobbying. Advocating. I had many that commented; We need to create a law that abolishes Special Interest lobbying”. As the old saying; “there should be a law”. Ah, ha! There is one edge of that two-edged sword.

Since there have been laws created to control lobbying already, more laws will likely never solve the problem. So we’ll need to strip it back down to the basic tenets our government was born upon. Then we need to hold everyone (government, corporate and private) accountable to the same standards and rules across the entirety of the game board. No more exemptions or exclusions. Our Founders created a protection for free speech, and it should be applied to everyone, equally. This goes for all our basic rights that were enumerated and protected for us by the Bill of Rights.

Abolishing lobbyists or restricting the negative effects that lobbying can grow into via laws has proven ineffective. We see it more prevalently in the federal gun control laws. They were not the answer to violence, then and they aren’t the answer now. If you agree with those statement, then the next question should be; How do we fix corrupt lobbying? Should we say that a privately held company shouldn’t be able to make their own set of rules? Or should we allow them the right to control what people are saying? Again, that two-edged sword can and will swing both ways.

This whole thing starts when greedy corporations start funneling money to weak willed politicians. Politicians who believe or fantasize about doing it better than our Founders and Framers, did. They have deluded dreams fueled by corporate attention and money, emboldening them into creating little ineffective laws that restrict stupid people from doing stupid or evil things like; “Yelling fire in a crowded theater” for funsies. Although this is actually just a wives tale, it is exactly what they are doing; trying to make a safe environment for everyone, by minimizing the effects of stupidity or evil intentions.

It is not their job to keep us safe, although most rational people will agree that a law should be in place to keep stupid and evil from effecting innocence. I contend though; to what end and expense to our rights? Stupid people exist and will continue to exist. Evil people exist and will continue to exist. Both will continue to cause harm to innocent people through their actions. When will the majority recognize these as truths? Maybe by the time they have rewritten or amended all constitutionally protected, natural born rights? Or maybe when they come to one you feel is important enough to defend?

When you can’t exercise your freedoms freely, because irresponsible people have already ruined it for the responsible; there will not be anyone left to hear legitimate complaints or help defend them. Listen, there will always be that one person who ruins a good thing, for the rest of us. This is a lesson we all should’ve learned when we were children. We want the right to say what we want… but we don’t want others to have the same right, because they may be stupid or evil.

If we allow them to continue tampering with our government protected rights, that proverbial box will never be able to close. In fact, we’re seeing it being opened again, as I’m writing this article. Men being allowed to participate in women’s sports and use women’s locker rooms and bathrooms. As long as they look like a women, it will be federally mandated, that we allow it. I wonder how that will look in another year or two, when pseudo-men/women cancel out the records and achievements of real women?

Let’s go back to something many can tangibly agree upon; the Second Amendment. Something that history has proven effective, but once they started pushing federal gun control restrictions and we allowed them to be put in place, they lessened its effectiveness. The NFA of 1934. It wasn’t such a bad thing, right? The general public thought it was designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

For all “intent and purpose” it was, but they did it via government taxation and permissions. Effectually creating a hierarchy of gun ownership. If you could afford the stamp, you could have the gun. This should’ve lessened the effects of stupid and evil, right? Well it depends on how you define those two words. It hasn’t stopped evil and stupid may have enough money to play.

If you don’t believe that the end results are the same with any of our Natural born, Creator bestowed, government protected rights. Then you may need some remedial educating on what our Framers and Founders created. If we allow them to continue restricting them, any of them; they will not or cannot stop at just one law. They will be forced to come back and write more, just as they are trying to do now. After writing over 25,000 gun control related laws already, they haven’t found a way to stop a criminal from committing violent acts with inanimate objects or stupid people owning and using them carelessly.

This is exactly the same with our right to free speech. You may not agree with everyone’s opinion. Those opinions may not align with your beliefs. They may not be absolute truths, but they do have the right to voice them. There are many who do not agree with my perspectives, especially regarding my relationship with Jesus, and that’s okay, it’s their right to do so. Their opinions or rebuttals do not stop me from giving them up for consideration, but the problem we are now seeing is the censorship of opinions via hate speech restrictions and newly passed laws.

These are becoming laws not because they are just, but because those opinions (or truths) offend a disenfranchised few. They chant repugnant slogans and march to the beat of their own drums, becoming the loudest crying baby and they are getting the bottle while the quiet child gets ignored.

The media is spinning it. The politicians are pandering to it. The right and left wing extremists are always going to challenge it while the majority of us are just plain tired of being ignored. So who is to blame for the mess that was made and forgotten about? Who is the responsible party and when are they going to clean it up for us? Ah, ha! Another edge to that double-edged sword, right?

While all of this is occurring, the swamp monsters in DC continue to postulate and ponder upon the laws of the past. They’re talking among themselves over 65 year-old single malt and Cuban cigars, saying; “Ya, know… there outta be a law to stop these people from doing *fill in the blank*. If we, they, you, them, us continue repeating that phrase enough times, they will indeed continue stuffing a bottle into the screaming child while giving birth to another constitutionally unjust law.

We have entered into the convolution of a frail new world where old adages such as; “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me” have been replaced with “I need my safe space and a moderator, because he called me a bad word and it hurts.”

Social media platform owners who have brokered government deals and exemptions from federal laws, are breaking their agreements and censoring certain speech according to their personal opinions or the current whim and fancy. They are doing it all without fear of repercussion, because after all, they own it, right? They have banned a sitting President’s social media accounts, simply because they could. This set a huge precedent and it will not be the first one be set, if they continue to have their way.

We’ve gone from thick-skinned Americans who could give as well as we got. Men and women willing to work for our life, liberty, property and pursuits of happiness through thin and through thick. Now it seems that many have become so thin-skinned, lazy and complacent that any amount of confrontation leads to a total meltdown. The modern We the People seem to think they are entitled to all of it, without having to put forth any effort. Many have forgotten that nothing in this world is truly free. Everything worth having, has and will always take a lot of hard work.

If we allow them to continue down this path of censoring things we don’t agree upon, eventually they will come for something that is important to you. Maybe it will be your guns? Or your religion? It could be your right to peacefully assemble or your due process. It doesn’t matter which right it is, when that day comes (and it inevitably will), there will be no one in your corner to help. Their voices will have long been silenced by the complacency of the masses through the censorship of the overzealous few.

This is the truth as it is… not as I perceive it to be. It is what it is. There are lies, damn lies and statistics. If you continue to let them change the context of truth, you will become another statistic in the bolstering of their opinions. The greatest form of government will have been destroyed from the inside out, with no one to blame but the people themselves.

“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer. If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.” ~ taken from Abraham Lincoln’s Lyceum Address

As y’all have been told at the end of the majority of my articles; I’m just an imperfect man, living in an imperfect world, seeking the favor and counsel of a perfect Master, Jesus. I pray every day that He shows me the mistakes of my past (not dwelling on them), but using them to become a better person tomorrow than I was today. I try to live by the words of my Master and those that helped support and bring His message to us, like;

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 esv

“I have been crucified with Christ [that is, in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20 amp

We the People are to blame for what we are experiencing today. This isn’t about corrupt politicians and corporations. It’s about a populace who has lost sight of the morality necessary to live by the natural laws of man. It’s about a ship that we’ve let run off course while we toiled below deck or lazed in the noon day sun. The only way we get that ship back under way, is to work united upon the same premise. We need to cut away the brokenness, set our course and continue upon our journey to a better future.

There are many reasons why we have come to this place and time. I could say it relates directly to how we view the Creator who bestowed our rights, but that would be shortsighted. I’d be naïve to believe it the only reason we have gone astray from our Founders and Framers principles. What I would say is that we only have to look toward the WORDS of those men, to see what they were attempting to achieve and the direction they intended us to go in.

“…this Country will be the most miserable Habitation in the World. Because We have no Government armed with Power capable of contending with human Passions unbridled by morality and Religion. Avarice, Ambition Revenge or Gallantry, would break the strongest Cords of our Constitution as a Whale goes through a Net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other…” ~ John Adams, to the Massachusetts Militia, Oct 11, 1798

Have an amazingly blessed day, and please just look at things from other perspectives. We need to find the common ground to stand united. The only way that happens is to find the truths we seek, and most (if not all) are hidden in the middle of those perspectives.

Patrick James

 

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