Free Speech in A Crowded Theater

It is a known axiom that your right to free speech does not extend to shouting, “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Another cliche that I like personally is that, “Your freedom ends where my nose begins.” Both these statements make the point that the concept of free speech, which is vastly misunderstood to begin with in America, most emphatically does not extend to irresponsible behavior that breaks civil law and endangers the general public.

So in the interests of clarity, we will look at the United States Constitution. In the Bill of Rights you will find the following statement:

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.

American justice codes have since established that no “freedom” includes what we may call “license” to do harm to others. But what is more important is the very first phrase in the whole First Amendment, which is: “Congress shall make no law respecting…” And there it is.

The Congress of the United States cannot pass laws establishing the freedom of individuals or print media to express opinion. Having established that, the Constitution does not attempt to govern the actions of private business -an institution so dear to the hearts of Republicans, who routinely use the American government to do favors for themselves and their friends. Republicans think nothing of manipulating civil law to allow themselves to buy and sell politicians. Republicans are delighted that they can conspire to obstruct the President of the United States, either out of partisan politics or out of just pure racism. Despite what they say, Republicans are the problem – it is not government in general, it is Republicans specifically.

So when the trolls call in to the talk shows, they complain that demonstrators outside a rally for candidates Trump or Sanders are being denied their right to free speech, they are mistaken. The Congress is not lifting a finger to prevent those demonstrators from demonstrating. It is a police force, or perhaps a private business who make claim to protecting their property. It is not the Congress of the United States of America. I hope we all get this, but you can count on constituent misuse and miscontruction of the phrase “freedom of speech,” even when it comes to inciting violence and treason. But you wouldn’t be caught dead doping it yourself…or so I hope.

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