Because the Democrats don't have the balls
and the Republicans don't have the brains.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Freedom* of Speech - A Line of Defense Against Civil Unrest and Civil War.

Many people say things about the importance of freedom of speech, but going by what I've read on the subject, it is almost always based upon appeals to the constitution and the founding fathers. While I agree profoundly with most such arguments, that the constitutional freedoms must be upheld if we are to remain a free society, I also see a very very important function of free speech that is rarely addressed.

Free speech is one of the pressure valves of a free society. It is one of the first line of defenses against civil unrest and civil war. The ability and freedom to verbally vent frustrations can and often does take the edge off of those frustrations. We all know what it feels like to get something off your chest. It feels good, it feels LIBERATING, it feels like FREEDOM.

Now, this is something that people who get offended at angry political tirades strewn with profanity and insults should keep in mind. We could outlaw it, sure. We could just create social pressure so that people keep it bottled up. But what is the long term effects of keeping those types of frustrations bottled up inside? Eventually, it will boil over, it will spill out and often, it will go beyond verbal expression.

We should all remember this the next time we are offended by what someone says, either online or elsewhere. Our society has been under a good deal of pressure since 9/11. We have had to deal with the collective trauma of having our little bubble of safety popped, as well as our frustrations at our country not going the direction we want it to go. Even people who agree with how the war on terror has been conducted and the things done in its name have had stresses and frustrations in other areas, such as immigration, bad economy, debt spending, etc...
If we, as a society, suddenly tried to silence the “offensive” speech that offends our ears, we could find ourselves having rocks thrown at us, or far far worse.

Thank you for reading this post.

*Freedom - the condition of being free; the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints.


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