Assault On Freedom of Speech from Both Sides

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.

On May 13th The Oregonian carried an article Live Free. Tell the Truth. And Die by Doug Bates. Bates writes about Russia where 14 journalists have died in cases that are suspect.

The vicious boot heel on these journalists is part of a sweeping clampdown on all the freedoms Russians won after the Soviet Union collapsed at the dawn of the 1990s. Americans ought to see this slide back to dictatorship as more than just a threat to our country’s security, but also as a reminder about the fragility of our own civil liberties.

Bates continues in two striking paragraphs:

News media in the United States have their problems, including relentless and increasing government secrecy and unending attacks on First Amendment rights.[…]

I came away convinced that the Russians’ struggle holds lessons for an America that has become dangerously blase about freedom of speech. The same pernicious self-censorship that pervades Russia’s national media poses a threat in any democracy where political leaders forge alliances with billionaires hellbent on amassing power and wealth.

I would gather from the tone of the article that we should be on guard from threats from the right, government allied with business out to achieve power and wealth.

There is another threat, and it comes from the left. The Liberal Attack on Freedom of Speech
The American left has adopted a totalitarian mindset; they’re actively working to stamp out dissent.

Robert Knight writes of the The Liberal Attack on Freedom of Speech. He points out six areas where liberals are trying to stifle free speech:

Targeting churches – monitoring churches for evidence that pastors are engaging in political speech.Reviving the “Fairness Doctrine” – frustrated with the power of conservative radio, the idea is to force stations to air leftists like Al Franken, if they want to continue airing winners like Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin or Sean Hannity.

Restricting grass-roots lobbying – force officials to keep copious records of their contact with public citizens

Sponsoring a federal “hate crimes” bill – would greatly expand the scope of federal power and lay the foundation for “thought crime” and suppressing speech

Using the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) as a liberal mouthpiece – while shutting out conservative voices.

only ideologically predictable scientists – decertifying any meteorologist who won’t toe the line on human-caused “climate change.

I would add one more to this list: The use of force to impose politically correct speech on society.

I see both the right and left putting pressure on our right to express opinions. This pressure is one more sign that both sides are statists!

First Amendment

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