Re-Examining the First Amendment

I just read the First Amendment again.

Suppressing freedom of expression or assembly – no matter how noxious – under the guise of inclusiveness, political correctness, censorship, or any mode of limitation – is a direct violation of the rights of all of us.

People have thfirstamendmentadvisorye right to speak their minds in whatever fashion they deem (even on Facebook) and peacefully assemble (even in a virtual group), for even the most obnoxious and offensive of causes and using the most obnoxious and offensive phraseologies.

Other people also have the right to disagree.

But the flow of ideas – in whatever form or fashion or colorful means of expression – cannot be legally suppressed, and the right of a group of people to gather to share those ideas peacefully cannot be suppressed, even by the most sensitive or politically correct.

For 250 years, American soldiers have been dying for this right.

Sometimes I think political correctness undermines everything America should stand for because it is used sometimes – while protective on the surface – to suppress anyone who might disagree.

Imposing good taste sometimes is in direct violation of one’s rights, but one’s rights are that, one’s rights, even when in violation of good taste.

champagnetoastforallI constantly have to remind myself of that when taken aback, but no matter how crazy or offensive a remark or philosophy might be, no matter my disbelief that someone actually said that, or even more so believes it, it is the right to express ourselves – even stupidly – that makes us our best.

As we approach the New Year, here’s to the free exchange of ideas.