The Slow Death of Free Speech

Our founding fathers were quite aware of the importance of free speech and thus included it as a core piece of the 1st Ammendment. They were keenly aware that limits to free speech and the press retarded the growth of ideas and allowed the government to run amok without the checks and balances needed in a legitimate constitutional republic. As George Washington aptly said, "If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. "

Now, over 200 years later, we have slowly and steadily embarked on a path to the slow death of free speech. Clearly, our country has increasingly become more polarized and divided, and especially in the eight years under President Obama. There has been a marked increase in class warfare, racial tensions, and attacks on free-market capitalism.  Our universities, once bastions of free speech and vigorous debate of ideas and thought, have become more and more intolerant of opposing thoughts and ideas that conflict with their progressive liberal ideological worldview. Political correctness has been the hammer most often used to pound away incessantly at free speech.  By casting out and shouting down opposing views, people have become more afraid to speak their minds for fear of retribution and being shamed. People have also become more thin-skinned and so easily offended that instead of just ignoring an opposing view they are much more likely to shout and deem it as "hate speech" and try to silence anyone or any organization that dare express it.  As Winston Churchill once said, "Some people's idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage."

So how do we turn back to what our founding fathers had originally designed?  I believe it starts with people standing up for what they believe in and not shying away from those who want to silence your free speech. Clearly, standing up and confronting political correctness, in its many forms, is another key to stemming the tide of limiting free speech. Using social media and calling out those institutions and entities is also an important part in this battle.  If we continue to be silenced and allow our freedoms to be slowly taken away, then we will lose the dream and country our founding fathers fought so hard to establish.  Freedom of speech is one of the core pillars of a free and vibrant society, and once lost, you cross into a bleak world of dictatorship.  As Ronald Reagan eloquently said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."


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