How To Protect Free Speech

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America is famous the world over for being the freest democracy on earth.  The United States earned this well-deserved reputation by virtue of its progressive multiculturalism as well as the constant, thoughtful engagement of its citizenry in public life.  Today I would like to talk to you about this latter aspect, which is so crucial to the functioning of our democracy.

Free speech has been the backbone of the American democratic process since its inception.  Only through an open public debate has our citizenry been able to educate itself for its highest moral calling: going to the ballot box.  Initially voting (and its corresponding political discourse) was restricted only to property-owning men, but over the years voting and free speech have been opened to all races, genders and socio-economic classes.  Only by opening up our political discourse to these disenfranchised groups has our government received both the necessary wisdom-of-the-oppressed as well as the moral authority it needs to construct one of the most beneficial and efficient welfare states the world has ever seen. Today, however, this discourse -and the free-speech that supports it- is under threat.

Libertarians and conservatives are threatening to undo decades of social progress that has given a voice to minorities as well as liberated Americans through greater equality.  From crazy libertarians like Ron and Rand Paul who advocate an end to the forcible liberation of disenfranchised races in their home-countries from dictators like Assad and Kim Jong-un, to wing-nut Tea Partiers who selfishly want to keep the money they would otherwise pay in the taxes that fund our vital social welfare programs, to religious wing-nuts who believe it’s the right of religious leaders not to marry homosexual couples in their churches, synagogues and mosques: the rights of disempowered minorities –and with it, their ability to be heard in our public debate- are being threatened with extinction.  How can racial minorities feel like they can speak freely in America if they can’t even do so in their home countries?  How can the poor afford to have as loud a voice as the rich in our public discourse if the welfare-state doesn’t re-distribute our nations vast riches more equitably? How can disempowered genders feel like they’re being heard if the government doesn’t force our acceptance of them into our private lives and institutions?  To these questions conservatives and libertarians reply only with meaningless buzz words like “constitutional”, racist comments, and arguments that are completely out of touch with the 99%.

For these problems I have a modest, progressive solution.

We should begin by shutting down harmful reactionary institutions like Fox News and the Washington Post as well as fringe blogs that air opinions that threaten the egalitarian multicultural basis of our society.  This step would free the average citizen of the vicious onslaught of divergent opinions that might prevent them from making rational, free decisions when fulfilling their civic duties.  Secondly, we should allow only government-accredited institutions -as well as individuals with the proper credentials- deliver the news.  Certain sources such as the Accredited Times, New York Times and NPR would surly be accepted.  Other sources which do not meet our government’s highest standards for promoting free speech, multiculturalism and equality would not be allowed to publish.  Finally, in order to vote, all citizens should have to undergo a test that would require each individual to show that they respect other cultures and have a working understanding of Keynesian economics.

If not already common sense, these propositions would almost certainly be immediately accepted by the vast majority of Americans if they were proposed by a reputable politician.  These policy changes would pave the way for new generations of progressive citizens who accept all races, genders and socio-economic classes. They would protect our freedoms as well as ensure that our future is more free, more equal, and more multicultural than ever before.

1 COMMENT

  1. America has the most diverse population in the world …. thanks to our liberal enlightenment …. we are the least xenophobic place on earth …. America looks like the world, now …. a cheerful boquet of smiling faces …. many from third world countries …. and soon …. we will have a third world economy, too …. it’s an egalitarian dream come true ! Throw down your dirty gold …. and hug a few snotty faced kids …. then you will know the happiness of being at one with our socialist world !

    • Diversity is our strength. Our country was first settled by pilgrims who were escaping the lack of tolerance for diversity in England, so one could say that diversity is the founding ideal of our great country and I’m glad that you appreciate it.

      As far as the “third world economy” you talk about, i don’t know that I agree. According to our most laudable and decorated economists (such as Paul Krugman) we’re in a recovery and I believe America is about to experience an economic renaissance thanks to the wisdom of great leaders such as Janet Yellen and Barack Obama.

      • Hear hear, thethey!

        Notable as they are for their spirit of brave independence, I’m sure all right-thinking Americans will agree that our strength and wealth arise entirely from having the best leaders to be found anywhere! For how could it be otherwise – our leaders are voted for by the smartest and most educated people in the world – Americans!

        I only wish our laissez-faire economy could be just a little influenced by hamstrung government institutions like The Federal Reserve and highly-trained professionals like Janet Yellen, a wimmin who has shown outstanding service to academia and governance.

        To me it is obvious that we need to allow government-appointed, accredited experts to have some influence in our economy. Take Dr. Roubini, for example; here is an economist who advises us that gold is really worth less than $1000 an ounce… and yet the market thinks it’s worth nearer $1250!!!

        This strikes me as an example of the wasteful capital-misallocation that is characteristic of free markets, and I think the government should grant itself the tools that would allow it to intervene so that the price of gold is finally correct. I don’t mean to be rude, but it’s time the swivel-eyed libertarian goldbugs realised that their money would be better placed in something with REAL value, like government bonds, or US dollars, which are constantly going up in value because of inflation.

  2. This is excellent work TheThey, but I feel you don’t take it quite far enough!

    How is a person to exercise ‘Free Speech’ if: they’re too weakened by hunger; too chilled by fuel poverty and poor housing; too uneducated by our underfunded education system… to speak and be heard in our dog-eat-dog, whiner-takes-all society?

    This is why the 1st Amendment really makes the Welfare Society a must; because without all those things I’ve listed, one simply will not have the strength or knowledge to be able to speak out!

    So the freedom to speak is really based on the freedom of the government (who are, after all, really just ‘us’ acting collectively) to tax and spend.

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  4. How to protect free speech? Don’t try to censor people who disagree with you!

    I don’t agree with allowing homosexuals or other sexual deviants to “marry,” especially not in any church.

    I think black Americans are the most racist of all people in the US.

    America is a great country because it was founded by intelligent white Christians. There are no great African countries, are there? I wonder why?

    The confederate battle flag has nothing to do with slavery, it was just a flag that troops carried in battle.

    Just because someone is offended by something doesn’t mean that anyone should change what they say or do. We are all about protecting freedom and free speech after all, correct?

    So let’s see how long this post lasts, if it is allowed at all. Because I am certain those of you who want to “protect free speech” won’t want to read this, lest you be offended. And if something is offensive it must be censored!