The First Amendment is not an overbred Yorkshire terrier that should be carried around in one's handbag and fed treats for its good behavior. Such an image would be horrifying to the framers of the American Constitution.
When I say this, I mean it in the best possible way…freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion, freedom to petition, freedom of the press are more akin to a pack of feral dogs and perhaps should be approached with caution rather than with indolence because unfettered liberty is a fearsome, magnificent thing to behold and no one promised that access to it would be comfortable. The whole of the Bill of Rights should most certainly be left to roam in the wilderness with as few restrictions as possible.
We know this from history. The First Amendment may bite, scratch and wound from time to time, but to tame it is to rob the world of political vibrancy and to put it down is to murder dissent. Majestic and utterly terrifying, that kind of political exchange is what our preservationist Founders set out to protect some 230 years ago.
For all the Left's lip service on ecological diversity, it is through liberal lawmaking and actions that we see speech gradually domesticated and pushed into the well-manicured landscapes of suburban living where every day is Pleasant Valley Sunday. Additionally, the First Amendment now finds itself endangered because the politically correct crowd continues restricting the territory on which open political discourse and activity is permitted.
In browsing YouTube for political inspiration just recently, I stumbled upon a couple of videos that offer similar advice about the attempt to housebreak the First Amendment. As we inch ever closer the 2014 elections, conservatives should take the opportunity to reflect on the importance of unencumbered political speech and bolster our resolve to speak plainly regardless of the cultural fallout.
"I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong. ~ Abraham Lincoln
The first video features a discussion between John Stossel of Fox Business and two Canadian journalists who have been censured in various ways for engaging in controversial political speech. Canada maintains less vibrant free speech protections and increasingly promotes censorship under the guise of human rights.
Stossel's first interview is with Gavin McInnis – cofounder of Vice Magazine, a regular guest on Fox's Red Eye and contributor to Taki Magazine. McInnis sold his shares in Vice Magazine because, as he puts it, "Maybe I became too offensive for the offenders." McInnis left Canada to live in the US because in Canada "anything can be hate speech that hurts someone…even if it is true."
The second interview is with Ezra Levant who is both the author of a book called "Shakedown" and a political journalist. Levant republished the infamous Dutch cartoons that satirized the actions of Muslim extremists in an effort to politically analyze the social unrest over the cartoons. He was then subjected to 900 days of investigation by the Alberta Human Rights Commission. They claimed that he "exposed someone to 'hatred and contempt' by virtue of publishing the cartoon."
The second video is from ReasonTV and offers particularly amusing insights on exactly how far our Founders were willing to push the bounds of free speech in order to prevail in the arena of ideas.