Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Is Freedom of Speech the First Right to Go?

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns freedom of speech. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States states: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech….” This amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.

            This amendment protects most speech, but not all speech. Americans are free to express their thoughts and feelings about politics, religion, business, and numerous other things. However, we are not free to say things that harm or threaten harm to others. Child pornography and words of defamation are not protected speech.

            Even though most speech is protected in the United States, many Americans do not feel safe in expressing their thoughts or ideas about politics. Benjamin Nichols wrote in an article posted at The Daily Signal that “nearly two-thirds of Americans are afraid to share their political views.”

A new CATO Institute/YouGov national survey found 62% of Americans say the political climate today prevents them from saying what they believe. This is up several points from 2017 when 58% of Americans said they were afraid to share their political beliefs.

“Thirty-one percent of liberals, 30% of moderates and 34% of conservatives are worried their political views could get them fired or harm their career trajectory,” the CATO survey stated.

            The cancel culture is causing many people to pause and consider their words for future effects. It seems that “more people among all political groups feel they are walking on eggshells” according to the survey. According to the survey, “majorities of Democrats (52%), independents (59%) and Republicans (77%) who all agree they have political opinions they are afraid to share.”

            One may ask with good reason if anyone feels safe in sharing their political opinions. The answer is yes. “Strong liberals stand out … as the only political group who feel they can express themselves. Nearly 6 in 10 (58%) of staunch liberals feel they can say what they believe.” However, not all liberals feel such freedom of speech. “A majority of centrist liberals, who in 2017 said they could express their views freely, now say they have to self-censor.” People across all ethnicities feel the need to self-censor with “65% of Latino Americans, 64% of white Americans, and 49% of African Americans saying they have political views they are afraid to share.”

            What do these large numbers of groups feeling the need for self-censorship mean in our political climate? The CATO study concluded that these numbers may indicate that “many of these opinions may be shared by a large number of people” and not just the radical or fringe groups.

Both surveys, CATO and Politico, suggest that those who engage and support cancel culture are a vocal minority of Americans, not the majority.

“While online shaming may seem like a major preoccupation for the public if you spend a lot of time on Twitter, only 40% of voters say they have participated in cancel culture and only one in 10 say they participate ‘often,’” the Politico poll found.

            It seems to me that there could be a “Silent Majority” of about 60% of voters. If they do not feel safe to voice their opinions, they do not support the leftist agenda. This seems to bode well for Donald Trump. He loves America and strives to strengthen and make America even greater. Anyone who does not support the destruction of America and America’s history should be able to support the Trump programs of putting America and Americans first, particularly when the Democrats in control continue to move further left in their behavior.

The riots of the past two months, the shortages in the stores over the past six months, and the general increase of government control in Democrat-led cities and states should be a flashing red light to anyone thinking about voting for anyone other than Trump and Republicans. America is on a crash course with socialism, and this election will determine the kind of country America becomes. It can be a greater America, or it can move further down the slopes to socialism. Much depends on this election, and I hope that America gets it right. We may not have another chance to save our nation!

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