The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday comes from the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. This amendment states: “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.”
Following the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States (POTUS), many protesters took to the streets of numerous cities to protest his election. The First Amendment gives Americans the right to express their thoughts, to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for redress. The protests started peaceably, but some of the protests became destructive.
I find it interesting that many liberals were concerned that conservatives would riot after the election – even though conservatives did not riot after either of the elections of Barack Obama. They wanted Trump to pledge to accept the results of the election because they were sure Hillary Clinton would win it. They were stunned when Clinton lost, and they immediately took to the streets to protest. The protesters did not get want they wanted, and they reacted as two-year-old children throwing temper tantrums.
There were instances of flag burning as well as claims that the protesters were being paid to march. There are also reports that some of the protesters did not choose to vote or even register to vote. Some of the protests turned into mob actions, and property was destroyed. Many protesters were arrested even as the protests continued.
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton should have acted as grownups and told their supporters to go home and accept the results of the election. Instead, they said nothing. When they did make comments, they simply added fuel to the fire of indignation with their statements. Most liberals are so used to getting their own way that they do not know how to lose gracefully.
An editorial from Deseret News says, “The right to protest and the freedom to assemble are fundamental rights. They have also been the catalyst of important social change throughout American history. Yet, when a protest lingers long after an election, and in some instances causes danger, putting added strain on law enforcement, the utility of such a post-election protest is questionable.
“More perilous is that such protests often cause politics to become so polarized that it makes it hard for politicians to work together.
“Real political solutions come from listening, understanding, mutual respect and compromise. The business of persuading and unifying is hard work. Uncomfortable as it may sound, it takes a healthy dose of empathy and human compassion.”
Americans have the right to assemble and to march in the streets in protest. I believe that this right does not include the right to burn the flag of our country or to destroy the property of other people. The election is over, and the “children” have thrown their “temper tantrums.” Now it is time for all of us to work together as we hold Mr. Trump to his promises to make our country great.