That’s a great question. One would probably quickly answer by saying “Freedom is NOT free. It comes at a price.” So what price have we paid for Free Speech? Answer: The Revolutionary War. And there were LARGE prices that many paid for Free Speech and our other freedoms we relish to this day:
25,000 Revolutionary Soldiers died during the war
•8,000 Revolutionary Soldiers died from wounds inflicted during battle
•17,000 Revolutionary Soldiers died from disease during the war
•25,000 Revolutionary Soldiers were estimated to have been wounded or maimed
“Free Speech” certainly is NOT free.
To complicate the explanations given to us today by Corporate/Political elites, we are being told that “Free Speech” is actually no longer permissible for just everyone to use. That’s not what our forefathers meant — that not every American has the right to say anything they want. But that ability to determine who really has the right to free speech and who does not; who can say what and who cannot say anything without the permission of someone endowed with the power to make those determinations, you know, that “Big Brother” thing. ‘
Just to clarify that, let’s take a quick look at what the U.S. Constitution says about free speech:
The First Amendment: “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.”
That’s pretty short and concise. But, yet, it’s thorough. How so? Every right to free speech to say anything is reserved TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. The only rights our government has are the ones The People expressly relinquished to the government in the Constitution and its Amendments.
These elitists bark at us daily about shutting up, what we are allowed to say and what not we are not permitted to say, tell us they can do so because they’re not the government. And, of course, the First Amendment prevents our government from doing so. How do these people justify practicing that very thing? They obtained permission to abridge our speech by some notion that someone somewhere created a set of rules and regulations regarding what is and is not acceptable for Americans to say and who can and who cannot. If you want to know all those rules, you’re out of luck. The elitists who create and manage those rules have us all on a “need to know only” basis. And they determine when that “need to know” applies.
Now we have a real conundrum that is playing out daily in Congress. Believe it or not, there are members of the U.S. House and Senate that are being taken to task for actually believing the First Amendment with its Free Speech guarantees do NOT apply to any members of any chambers unless the “appointed ones” so allow. And this is all getting out of hand — quickly.
Rep. Marjorie Greene
When embattled freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) took to the U.S. House floor Thursday morning in advance of a chamber wide vote to possibly strip her of all committee assignments, she spoke through a face mask embroidered with that most iconic of all American rallying cries: “FREE SPEECH.” Greene with that mask followed in the footsteps of many others on the right who respond to a domineering and increasingly illiberal ruling class with little more than hypocritical appeals to free speech and open discourse — whether in the context of their hypocritical “Cancel Culture” or in the “We are empowered and you are not” situations.
Based on facts and the Constitution, it would be a mistake to strip Greene, who has previously flirted with the QAnon conspiracy theory and has voiced numerous other “different” beliefs, of all House committee assignments. While punishing duly elected congressmen and senators for post-election statements and actions is an issue of case-by-case prudence, punishing congressmen and senators for preelection statements and conduct would set a chilling precedent and undermine fundamental Constitutional rights of republican self-governance. There are other remedies for Greene’s self-appointed foes to pursue, such as a 2022 primary challenge or even congressional redistricting.
But the fact that Greene, who is a QAnon adherent, 9/11 truther, and believer that the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting was a “false flag” operation, can so effortlessly retreat to the safe land of “free speech” ought to concern conservatives. It is a reminder that just because someone has a legal right to do something doesn’t necessarily mean they should do it. It would be a big mistake too to paint Greene or others like her as valiant martyrs for the “Free Speech” cause. Every argument that begins and ends with cries of “Free Speech,” whether in opposition to the latest example of “cancel culture” or censorship of Big Tech using another account ban, is automatically to be ammunition against these elitists.
The left’s obsession with having a unilateral right to intellectual gatekeeping and the destruction of conservative participation in the public square does make necessary appeals to free speech. But such a focus on free speech as an ultimate end — like from the Supreme Court’s 1971 example, in Cohen v. California, that “one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric”—seems to legitimize some conservatives demands that the First Amendment is so total in its guarantees that anyone can say anything, anytime and anywhere with no obligations for logistical restraints. Worse, it misinterprets the historical understanding of free speech, which was not that of any good unto itself but instead that of a realistic pursuit of genuine truth and knowledge. Conservatives who are confident in their convictions should not be afraid to defend their beliefs, whether about human sexuality, immigration levels, or any other 2021 issue of public policy, without begging the left for their “enlightened” permission for access to religion or speech.
It would also be short-sighted for conservatives to draw Greene’s trials and tribulations as a fight for free speech or a rejection of “cancel culture.” There are plenty of wise reasons to oppose punishing Greene based on information that was readily available at the time the voters of Georgia’s 14th congressional district sent her to Congress. To punish an elected official based on preelection actions would set into motion a very slippery slope; poring over elected officials’ high school newspaper editorials to scour for all traces of “wrongthink” would be fair game. This isn’t a particularly appealing vision of self-rule. But we can avoid it without seizing hold of conspiracy theories under the name of “free speech.” To do so is morally hypocritical, frustrates the defense of conservative beliefs that should be protected and promoted for their worth, and confuses First Amendment-protected speech with ideas of permissible speech. There’s a BIG difference.
Marjorie Taylor Greene should not be formally punished by either the current House Republican minority or Democratic majority for her previous beliefs, no matter how distasteful they may be. But it is imperative that we understand that doing so is to protect the right to free speech and not to necessarily approve of Greene’s (or any others for that matter) blatherings about anything. Put it this way: Constitutionally anyone has a legal right to shout a string of obscenities into a two-year-old’s ear. But having that right does not “require” that person to do so.
Don’t you think we all should get that through our heads? It certainly would prevent a bunch of misunderstandings and hard feelings that invariably do little to defuse any such confrontation.
Important Note: Lt. General Michael Flynn WILL BE with us Wednesday morning at 9:00 AM sharp live on “TNN Live.” He was very understanding and apologetic for the technical issues that kept him from being with us last week. He will spend a good bit of time with us answering the questions you gave to us for him. Join us by clicking on this link at 9:00 AM Wednesday:
To Download Tuesday, February 9th’s “TNN Live” Show, Click on This Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-LI6jFAIli_8AZ9l9KFWy3ySAd-Vne9z/view?usp=sharing