Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The post-Tuscon shootings assault on the 1st Amendment
By ROGER MADON
Fifty years ago I lived in a country where politicians carried side arms and had their political opponents killed more often than any American would find acceptable. However, in that country martial political rhetoric, similar to what we use here in the United States, or any rhetoric for that matter which alluded to violence was completely absent from the vernacular.
I know, you think I’m being sardonic. Well, I’m not. I did live in such a country. And from my perspective, since I was an American even then, I preferred this system of government and politics to the one I just described.
You see, here in America, we’re free to say most anything we want to say. But we do have to be careful. For example, if we say something which borders on a physical threat and the target of that threat winds up dead, you can pretty much bet that you are going to get a knock on the door by a police officer who would like to have a conversation with you downtown.
So where am I going with this?
Well the fundamental flaw with those pinheads such as Nobel Prize winning Paul Krugman of the New York Times or Sheriff Clarence Dupnik of Pima County Arizona who seem to blame martial and vitriolic rhetoric for the violent attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords this weekend fail to appreciate the palliative effect that baring arms has upon the population.
My point is that when it comes to the First Amendment, as we Americans understand it, we can’t have both ways. Either we have free speech or not. There is no middle ground.
Under our system of government there is no such thing is prior restraint. That means that the government can’t shut somebody up even if it contends that that person is about to say something that the government thinks is unlawful. And then once having said it the government can’t do much about it. So the likes of Paul Krugman and Sheriff Dupnik and all those other socialist/Democrats who are howling their heads off about the heated rhetoric of Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and Glen Bleck are probably suggesting that limiting speech will control the fruit cakes who populate our country, one of whom will be languishing in a federal prison for the rest of his life.
Thankfully, however, the vast majority of Americans aren’t prepared to give up their right to free speech upon the sheer speculation that the psychotics will give up their violence or the surety that those who will be restrained from speaking will use other means of expression.
Roger Madon holds court at 4 PM New York time Monday-Thursday on the Paltalk News Network.