Freedom of Speech

Republicans support the right to Freedom of Speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Unite

  The First Amendment states 

“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.”

It means individuals and entities (e.g. corporations, non-profit organizations) may freely express opinions without censorship or interference by the government. 

The Supreme Court has recognized several categories of speech that are not protected including obscenity, fraud, child pornography and speech that incites imminent lawless action. 

Why is this an issue in 2021?

Cancel Culture

Individuals, companies, and media organizations have used their influence to “cancel” individuals for expressing their opinions, resulting in loss of employment, damage to reputation and often ruined careers. Since these are not government agencies, they do not violate the First Amendment. 

Cancelling individuals for their speech is clearly a violation of the principle of free speech, it is wrong. 

Throughout American history, we have trusted in the power of reason and debate to guide citizens to the truth. There was a trust in what we called Common Sense. People were generally in touch with reality. That is predicated on the belief that truth is objective, it can be known, and that honest people through reasoned discussion and evaluation of the facts, can find the truth.

Young people are now protected from “bad ideas.” People are “scared” or feel “unsafe” when they hear an idea that is new, unfamiliar, or “forbidden.” Furthermore, they are indoctrinated with the idea that truth is relative or worse, unknowable, so that there are no truths, only opinions. 

Citizens of America need to develop the ability once again to think for themselves, to identify and discover truths in the marketplace of ideas. 

Cancel Culture creates and protects dependency, a class of followers that are unable to function in the real world where reality is complex and rational thought is required. We need to teach people how to think more than what to think. 

America requires informed citizens capable of sorting truth from propaganda, evaluating candidates based on character and experience and withstanding the incessant manipulation of the media. 

We don’t need to censor ideas. We need more free speech, more robust debate of ideas and issues. This is especially true in Academia.

The Cancel Culture must itself be cancelled. It must stop.