The voice of the First Amendment
April 16, 2015
The mind is the laboratory of human thought wherein the diverse content of one's experience is integrated to form a body of knowledge. Speech is the mind's messenger. It gives voice to the silent thinking carried on in every head and makes the findings audible for all the world to hear. If we did not have speech with which to render the conclusions of our thinking available for public consumption, we could never compile the knowledge from which civilization is advanced.
To grasp some measure of the knowledge fitted together with the bits and pieces of information collected from the interactive input of our social co-existence, we need only to recall that just yesterday, so to speak, we were earth-bound, cave-dwelling Neanderthals in need of all the necessities of self-preservation. The ultimatum imposed upon us by the law of nature was unforgiving and non-negotiable: Save yourselves or perish. So, equipped with just the head on our shoulders and a stick with a sharp-edged stone strapped to the end of it, we set out to secure the means of our continuance. Today, our footprints are impressed upon the surface of the moon, documenting our arrival as interplanetary travelers and certifying our competence to succeed against the odds.
In the interim – between getting ourselves from the cave to the moon – we improved every aspect of living in "organized society." We figured out the science of transforming the raw materials of nature into the consumer-serving products that have contributed so significantly to the betterment of a human lifetime. We upgraded our cavern habitats to marvelous architectural dwellings. We captured lightning and plugged the world into electricity. We siphoned oily ooze up from the belly of the earth and, with it, gave the machinery we built the power of locomotion. We transplanted organs from one person into the body of another. We mixed an endless combination of medicinal compounds defensive against disease and restorative of good health. We kept the "horn of plenty" overflowing with a surplus of "consumer goods," etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
The power of open communication for good is demonstrated everywhere around us. All of the above achievements — including the etceteras — are benefits of the unfettered mind and its delivery system, freedom of speech. None of the society-advancing creations itemized could have been brought into existence during the ages when speech was "officially repressed." When, "on pain of death," thinkers were forbidden to advance any explanation contrary to the status quo, nothing much different from the status quo was accomplished. Thus, the stagnation of sameness was repeated for hundreds of years — and on.
Are we headed back to from whence we came? Well, observe that right now, in America, the birthplace of the First Amendment, freedom of speech is being relentlessly vilified as "hate speech." The vocabulary cops are everywhere, eavesdropping on every word that rolls off the tongue, listening for any opposing opinion that they can deliberately misrepresent as "politically incorrect." Their menacing pressure group tactics have succeeded in intimidating many conservatives who, out of fear of being branded racist, sexist, homophobic, and such, now hide their true opinion in a hush of silence — an omen that bodes ominous for the future of freedom in America.
The motive for repressing speech today is exactly the same as in ages past — to bestow "absolute power" upon the political puppeteers of human behavior. In the present case, those puppeteers are the progressives of the Democratic Party, whose authoritarian mindset is spreading across the political landscape of America like a virus gone pandemic.
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When, in 1791, America's forefathers ratified the First Amendment, they empowered every succeeding generation of Americans with the most formidable armament ever against the totalitarians of absolute power — the right of freedom of speech. It is imperative that we deploy that armament and not allow the progressives of the Democratic Party to bridle our tongues. Opine out loud, conservatives Let us be the voice of the First Amendment.
Orlis Trone is an LVN columnist and may be reached at email@example.com.