Free Speech in America and Its Consequences

作者:丹奇  于 2011-1-9 21:51 发表于 最热闹的华人社交网络--贝壳村

作者分类:时事评论|通用分类:热点杂谈|已有13评论


FREE SPEECH IN AMERICA

AND ITS CONSEQUENCES

A POLITICAL VIEW

 by Roger & Danqi (January 9,2011)

The shooting on Saturday January 8th in Tucson, Arizona highlights the potential political and societal fallout from irresponsible free speech. The shooting killed at least 5 persons ( including a Federal Judge and a 9 year old child ) and critically wounded many others – including the intended target U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The Congresswoman was shot in the head from less than 2 feet away, in a public place.

While the motive of the gunman is still unknown it is known that he has written and posted views and complained about the government and certain policies.

While we as Americans value our Constitutionally protected rights to free speech that right also implies a certain responsibility in its use. The misuse of free speech can come very close to going over the line and in effect incite violence or public mahem.

The political pundits who come through out televisions every night or through our radio’s during the day incite much of this as well as the highly partisan and toxic political discourse that now envelopes the nation.

A case in point is Sarah Palin ( former Vice Presidential candidate ). Her Political Action Committee made “targets” of those Democrats they wished to defeat in the 2010 mid term elections. Her marketing literally showed those officials with “cross hairs” of a rifle scope over them to “take them out”… the implication of shooting them ( otherwise, why use the gun imagery ) is there. Now, of course I certainly don’t think Sarah Palin espoused or would ever condone such behavior or actions but it did, without a doubt, incite her followers and increase the tension of the moment.

Or how about Sharron Angle who was campaigning to replace U.S. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada. During an interview she implied if she lost the election and her followers didn’t like the result that there were “second amendment remedies” for that. The implication is that disgruntled voters could hide behind the second amendment to the Constitution ( which is the right to keep and bear arms ) to effect change on elected leaders, essentially an armed rebellion to overthrow the elected government.

What about the large group of people who continue to believe that President Obama is a Muslim and follower of Islam? But, another group opposed to the President takes delight that he went to a Christian church for over 20 years led by a militant African American ( Rev. Wright )? You can’t have it both ways – he’s either Christian or a Muslim. But, the point is that both groups are vehemently opposed to the President and spread vicious vitriol to their groups that is nothing more than misinformation and intended to “stir the pot”. The goal is discredit the President even though the two groups against Obama hold views that conflict and cancel each other out. Like so much of the information encouraged by these media types truth is not the point, stirring the pot and inciting and exciting and building hatred and a political viewpoint against the political opposition is the point. It doesn’t matter to them if the “truth” they broadcast is actually just a lie. They have used free speech in its most insidious manner – they broadcast lies that lead to dividing the people and make friends become enemies and eventually someone will use violence to pursue political views even though their actions are based on a “false” truth – a lie.

Free speech, while highly valued and protected, has to come with responsibilities that are considered a value to the society as well. While the vast majority of people will never and would never act out in a violent manner the problem is that it only takes one person with a gun to shock the political system – and destroy the lives of many.

The existing level of toxicity in political and media language hurts us not only domestically but internationally as well. Our current animosity in Washington D.C. has brought us another Congress that will be unable to move the country forward and continues to divide the people. A fractious population and divided country is weaker for it.

The United States has been admired and looked to by generations of people here and all around the world as a model for freedom and prosperity, fairness and justice, civility and adherence to the law. The current level of communication between the political parties has eroded these tenets and hurt our nation.

I lay the blame for this erosion squarely at the feet and doorsteps of those political officials who encourage misinformation and the media types ( Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Keith Olberman, Glen Beck , etc ) who spread and disseminate the information and turn citizen against citizen, make enemies of the population between the political groups and use the airwaves and printed word to spread the virus that now infects this country.

Perhaps the shooting in Tucson and the loss of life can help bring about a more focused look on the current state of political discourse. Perhaps the partisan politicians and the extreme media shows will tone down the level of hatred they spew from their micophones and newspapers. Perhaps we’ll all just step back for a moment and reflect on what free speech is and how to use it in a responsible manner that encourages growth in political communication rather than violence amongst the citizenry.

I doubt that any of the above will actually happen in the long run. It’s just too much fun and politically valuable to separate the people and make them enemies of each other and much to profitable for the media to maintain the status quo.

 


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发表评论 评论 (13 个评论)

1 回复 德州龙 2011-1-9 22:59
Sad
1 回复 微风淡淡 2011-1-9 23:57
Free speech, while highly valued and protected, has to come with responsibilities that are considered a value to the society as well.

Of course. I think it essential to be aware of what he or she say or write in the public, and furthermore the impact on the public.
1 回复 cartoonyang 2011-1-10 05:56
微风淡淡: Free speech, while highly valued and protected, has to come with responsibilities that are considered a value to the society as well.

Of course. I t ...
i couldn't agree more
2 回复 lushao 2011-1-10 10:32
Free speech cannot hurt others.
2 回复 丹奇 2011-1-10 11:32
德州龙: Sad
yes, sad and angry
1 回复 丹奇 2011-1-10 11:32
微风淡淡: Free speech, while highly valued and protected, has to come with responsibilities that are considered a value to the society as well.

Of course. I t ...
can't agree more!
1 回复 丹奇 2011-1-10 11:33
lushao: Free speech cannot hurt others.
yes, especially those influential people, will incite the naive to be violent followers.
1 回复 meistersinger 2011-1-10 15:08
Good article. Thanks for sharing. It seems that the conservative "free speech" is more venomous than that of the liberals.
1 回复 微风淡淡 2011-1-12 02:57
丹奇: can't agree more!
有一句上海话,叫作 不要太同意
和英语风格一样哦
1 回复 微风淡淡 2011-1-12 02:58
cartoonyang: i couldn't agree more
有一句上海话,叫作 不要太同意
和英语风格一样哦
1 回复 cartoonyang 2011-1-12 03:11
微风淡淡: 有一句上海话,叫作 不要太同意
和英语风格一样哦
ok
2 回复 微风淡淡 2011-1-12 03:18
cartoonyang: ok
  
2 回复 丹奇 2011-1-12 03:30
微风淡淡: 有一句上海话,叫作 不要太同意
和英语风格一样哦
  

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