Thursday, October 16, 2008

Should Freedom of Speech Ever Be Restricted?

Second page of Constitution of the United States.Image via Wikipedia

This week I was going to write a tip about how to find a niche market however I changed my plans after a disturbing call from 1 of my daughters.

On Wednesday, October 15, while driving home she was almost run off the road not once but twice. Fortunately she managed to avoid having an accident both times however she was extremely shaken up by this ordeal.

Now my daughter has been driving home from work 5 days a week on this same highway for several months and nothing like this has ever happened before. So my question to her was why - Why would someone try to run you off the road?

She had no idea since she was keeping up with traffic and was staying in the "slow" lane. The only thing different about her, her car and her driving was that the night before she had put a political bumper sticker endorsing the candidate she was supporting on her car.

Now we don't know for a fact that it was the bumper sticker that incited 2 people to the point of trying to scare or hurt her. But to be safe she did remove the sticker.

As her mother I was very upset with what had happened and was relieved to hear she had removed the sticker.

As an American I was outraged by what had happened!

Having lived through a lot of presidential campaigns I know that fear and hate are common campaign tactics and you can't believe a lot of what's said. I also know that presidential elections cause a lot of mixed emotions.

But to have someone afraid to state who they support in an upcoming election...

To me that's UN-AMERICAN!!!

In a country where freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment in the Constitution no one should be afraid to state their political commitment on a bumper sticker or anywhere else. And those who resort to violence when someone doesn't agree with them should move to a country that supports that type of reaction.

Of course I know they won't move because they want the right to say whatever they want. They just don't want to extend that same right to others who disagree with them.

In America we have the freedom of choice and the freedom to state our choice in a non-violent way. Many have died to give us these rights.

So no matter what your political beliefs I encourage everyone to:

  • Have your own opinion and respect the opinion of others.

  • Share your opinion with others and listen when others share theirs.

  • Don't just listen to campaign ads and debates but also do your "due diligence" and learn the truth.

  • When election day comes, Vote.

  • And whether your candidate wins or loses, lets all agree to work together to make our country strong and unified.

To paraphrase something my high school government teacher once said -

You have the right to disagree with someone but your right ends just before your fist hits them.

To Your Success,

P.S. Since we're all now protected by the USA Patriot Act those who are publicly stating things like "Off with his head" and "Kill xxx" during political rallies may want to watch their backs because:


"Definition of domestic terrorism. Both the House and Senate bills included this provision to define the term "domestic terrorism" as a counterpart to the current definition of "international terrorism" in 18 U.S.C. §2331. The new definition for "domestic terrorism" is for the limited purpose of providing investigative authorities (i.e., court orders, warrants, etc.) for acts of terrorism within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States. Such offenses are those that are

"(1) dangerous to human life and violate the criminal laws of the United States or any state; and

(2) appear to be intended (or have the effect) – to intimidate a civilian population; influence government policy intimidation or coercion; or affect government conduct by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping (or a threat of)." Same as Administration proposal."

And while I don't believe either the Democratic or Republican candidate falls into a Patriot Act protected group those doing the yelling do. And if they're right and I'm wrong then they should also know that Sec. 102 of TITLE I—ENHANCING DOMESTIC SECURITY AGAINST TERRORISM states:

"Sense of Congress condemning discrimination against Arab and Muslim Americans. Both the House and Senate bills included this provision to condemn acts of violence and discrimination against Arab Americans, American Muslims, and Americans from South Asia, and to declare that every effort must be taken to protect their safety."

The above quotes were taken from

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