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Shocking Truth: What Happens When Government Tries to Silence Your Voice?

The First Amendment safeguards this freedom by prohibiting Congress from enacting laws that would infringe upon freedom of speech. Despite this constitutional protection, there are exceptions under which the government can regulate speech. These exceptions encompass instances of incitement, defamation, fraud, obscenity, child pornography, fighting words, and threats.

Beyond these delineated circumstances, governmental censorship of individual expression should not be tolerated. Yet, a cursory examination of the Twitter files reveals instances where the current administration has leveraged its authority to stifle opposing viewpoints. This has entailed pressuring social media platforms to remove content that diverges from its agenda, and even advocating for the removal of material deemed to be misinformation or disinformation. At one juncture, there was a proposed initiative within the current administration aimed at monitoring misinformation on social media, a proposal that was met with widespread criticism. The truth remains that people are fiercely protective of their right to express their opinions, and resent attempts to silence them.

We pose the question what would happen should the government be successful in eliminating free speech. Our query points to a few key issues however it is speculative in that several governments do actively censor their political opposition. Mostly authoritarian regimes but as many Americans are now realizing, the bastian of free speech is censored by the people running the American government.

Denying people the freedom to speak freely about their opinions and feelings regarding an overreaching government can have significant consequences, both for individuals and for society as a whole:

  1. Violation of Human Rights: Freedom of speech is a fundamental human right enshrined in various international human rights instruments and many national constitutions. Denying individuals this right infringes upon their autonomy and violates their basic rights to expression and participation in public discourse.

  2. Suppression of Dissent: Limiting freedom of speech stifles dissent and opposition to government actions, policies, and abuses of power. It prevents individuals from raising legitimate concerns, expressing grievances, and holding government officials accountable for their actions.

  3. Undermining Democracy: Freedom of speech is essential for the functioning of a democratic society. It allows for the exchange of diverse viewpoints, the robust debate of ideas, and the formation of informed opinions among citizens. Restricting free speech undermines democratic principles and weakens the foundations of democracy.

  4. Censorship and Self-Censorship: When people fear repercussions for expressing their opinions, they may self-censor or refrain from speaking out altogether. This leads to a chilling effect on free expression and creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, where dissenting voices are silenced and critical discourse is suppressed.

  5. Erosion of Trust and Legitimacy: Limiting freedom of speech erodes trust in government institutions and undermines their legitimacy in the eyes of the public. When people feel they cannot freely express themselves or criticize government actions without fear of reprisal, it breeds resentment, cynicism, and alienation from the political process.

  6. Potential for Authoritarianism: Restricting freedom of speech can pave the way for authoritarianism and tyranny. Authoritarian regimes often use censorship and suppression of dissent as tools to maintain power and control over the population, silencing opposition and perpetuating their rule without accountability.

Overall, denying people the freedom to speak freely about their feelings regarding an overreaching government not only violates their basic rights but also undermines democracy, fosters censorship and self-censorship, erodes trust in government institutions, and creates conditions ripe for authoritarianism. Protecting and upholding freedom of speech is essential for safeguarding individual liberties and the health of democratic societies.

President Biden's associate, Zelenskyy, oversaw the arrest of a journalist who expressed disapproval of the current Ukrainian government's handling of the conflict with Russia. Tragically, the journalist, Gonzalo Lira, passed away due to neglect, a matter that received scant attention from the mainstream media. Yet, those same neglectful media pundits are quick to point out that despite the arrest and death of Lira, Ukraine runs a robust democracy.

Social Media Influencer Douglass Mackey Sentenced after Conviction for Election Interference in 2016 Presidential Race. His crime, making a mockery of people who believed his fake post. He posted an absurd meme about texting in a vote for Clinton. He "tweeted an image depicting an African American woman standing in front of an “African Americans for Hillary” sign. The ad stated: “Avoid the Line. Vote from Home,” “Text ‘Hillary’ to 59925,” and “Vote for Hillary and be a part of history.” The fine print at the bottom of the deceptive image stated: “Must be 18 or older to vote. One vote per person. Must be a legal citizen of the United States. Voting by text not available in Guam, Puerto Rico, Alaska or Hawaii. Paid for by Hillary For President 2016.” The tweet included the typed hashtag “#ImWithHer,” a slogan frequently used by Hillary Clinton." A meme by which any ordinary person could easily discern was clearly satire. But never the less was sentenced by "United States District Judge Ann M. Donnelly to 7 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to interfere with potential voters’ right to vote in the 2016 election."

Is it time for Americans to confront the reality that their right to free speech has been eroded, rendering the First Amendment nothing more than a symbolic relic? How can we restore the freedom to openly criticize our government without fear of reprisal, without it being treated as a mere punchline?

What do you think? Is Free Speech Dead?

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1 comentário

Jules Kunofsky
Jules Kunofsky
27 de mar.

Excellent essay!!!! When freedom of speech goes, other freedoms follow. Then there is no longer an America.

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