Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Friday, March 9, 2012

Can You Give Me a First

FIRST AMENDMENT

AMENDMENT I

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.

Have you noticed the rightwing noise machine references the First Amendment every time one of their own says something repulsive? As a defense for ignorant speech being called to task by society, freedom of speech gets pulled out of the little grab bag of tricks by the lineup.

I wonder, where were they during their junior high school civics class? Is it just me, or does it seems no one in America understands what the First Amendment is? That the purpose is to protect the people from the power of the government. The government is not allowed to pick you up and send you to a gulag because you call the president a pinko, nazi, communist, secret muslim, terrorist, Kenyon infiltrator, radical, magic negro who is turning America into a European Welfare State. That is freedom of speech, the freedom from your government shutting your speech down by shutting you in a cell.

Freedom of speech does not carry through to anything else. You and I may indeed say anything we want, short of "Fire" in a crowded building, but we are not free from repercussion if what we say is not met with approval. Whether it is someone hanging up the phone on you or advertisers dropping a radio host like the bloated gasbag that he is, there are consequences to actions. Try telling your employer he is an ass and see how far freedom of speech takes you.

The amazing number of newly minted constitutional experts which have shown up in the past couple of years should be making my heart go pitter-pat. Alas, not so much. It would be fair to say the only part of the First that gets much attention from these shining examples of American Exceptionalism is the misguided interpretation of free speech. The rest of it is of no use to them, as it can be disruptive to their cause and disturb the closely held belief that the Founders were Tea Party types. Not the Boston version.

Give a good, brand new Constitutionalist a Second and a Tenth with a dash of First and you've got yourself a deal, good buddy: America, rightwing style.




4 comments:

  1. Where are you? today I was given the go ahead to get up and I went downstairs and baked Brioche. It was good, both the going downstairs and the Brioche.

    Are you alright? I know the weather has been as crazy as one can get it to be, but given the rest of the things I think the only thing I will be allowed to check for a while will only be the weather. Let me know how you are, would you please? I miss our exchanges and I hope not only that you are alright, maybe even fine.

    Allegra

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  2. Thanks for worrying about me. I am OK, I am simply without my computer and I don't have a smart phone or tablet! The Mac has been in the hospital and they are taking their time getting it back to me. I am about to do an unauthorized discharge.

    All my contact info is in my computer, so I have been living in no-man's land. I can use Mark's when it is available to me, which is almost never, as this is tax season and he is a CPA. I will be back as soon as I get the computer home, one way or another.

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  3. I am heartened to hear you are up and about, btw. Very good news!

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  4. No more excuses. Time for you to start blogging again. Your voice has been gone for far too long. I personally miss what you have to say.

    And you have plenty to say from a very intelligent point of view, something that is becoming more and more scarce in this state of idiocracy we are living in.

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I really appreciate the concept and sentiment behind awards, but I cannot participate in them anymore. I have too may and I have not got the time to devote to participating properly. To all who have honored me, I am grateful but I don't have seven more things to tell anyone about myself! And I'm a terrible passer-oner.