You know what’s crazy? I’ll tell you what’s crazy
Freedom of Speech!
It’s so fundamental to our rights as Americans it is Number 1 on the amendments hit parade.
The 1st Amendment is at the top the constitutional mountain. It comes before carrying weapons or allowing soldiers to occupy your home.
Freedom of Speech is ahead of unreasonable searches and seizures or cruel and unusual punishment.
If there is a Mount Rushmore of Amendments, The 1st Amendment is the rocky steadfast jaw you see first.
If the 1st Amendment is a house, it’s the frame for which every other component of liberty attaches.
Without the 1st Amendment, the other sanctified rights are but dandelion fragments blowing away in the wind.
Do we even remember what The 1st Amendment says? Do we know what it means?
To me it’s the equivalent of Thou Shall Not Kill in the bible. If we don’t honor life, then what else really matters?
To refresh our memories, here are the Founding Fathers Words:
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.
These words are important. These words are sacrosanct.
This passage guarantees you the right to peacefully say what you think, to peacefully gather when you want, to peacefully pray how you wish.
Yet, as I write this, I’m watching cities burn, and the 1st Amendment weep.
Police stations are set on fire as crowds chant rhythmically, viscerally, sometimes ignorantly.
Statues are being surrounded by lynch mobs with nooses and spray paint.
It’s doubtful the nescient throng even knows the history of the marble man they are violating. All the mob wants to do is extirpate the symbol of the past as part of a nightly blood lust.
The 1st Amendment pays my bills. The 1st Amendment is my doctrine. I believe in its power, I understand the liberty it affords us.
I respect the right to assemble peacefully, to illicit change, to speak your mind, even if what you have to say is ill conceived poppy cock.
But when you add fire and gasoline and broken windows and skate board assaults to the mix, you have assaulted the freedom afforded you by Lady Liberty.
Have you been to your local urban center recently? There’s a sizzling stench permeating on the hot coals of unrest.
Dyspeptic crowds are marching through the streets, their faces sweaty with unbridled rancor.
They march and chant and thrust their fists in the air.
Police in riot gear stand nearby and allow them to exercise their 1st Amendment Rights.
But then the agitators emerge. The Antifa radicals who have no allegiance to any party other than the gods of chaos.
These are the gutter snipes that hate all rules and get erect when glass breaks and flames roar.
These anarchists separate from the pack and urinate on the 1st Amendment.
Suddenly there is fear among law abiding citizens and the prime directive of peaceful free speech annihilated.
In the time it takes to light a Molotov cocktail and throw it at a sleeping homeless man, the 1st Amendment has been raped, abused by stewards of insidious duplicity.
So here we are.
Law vs Disorder.
While some want change and are willing to obtain it using the shield of the 1st Amendment. Others seek change by any means necessary.
When the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has been squelched by lawlessness, then the system is broken and civil war becomes acceptable.
This is what happens when the Mob Rules.
I have witnessed many protests that began peacefully and ended peacefully.
The peaceful message was consumed and set the spark of change. This is how our forefathers envisioned it. Peaceful change takes times. Lasting change must be earned.
But anarchists are impatient.
They live by the doctrine of the fire ball and broken glass.
They erupt angrily, violently, and the message is obfuscated like so much smoke.
The Anarchists Cookbook mandates angry and expensive protest. It commands immediate attention and precipitates fear.
Once again, as is often the case, PERCEPTION IS REALITY.
The perception is people are willing to burn down your building, and cave in your skull, to illicit change in the most profound and expedient way. While that may not be the message of the masses, it is certainly a high octane message of the angry fringe who uses the 1st Amendment to wipe their collective ass.
I’m watching people in motorcycle helmets and face shields and body armor pulsate like a virus in urban settings. I see thugs wielding skate boards and clenched fists. There are bonfires burning and decapitated statue heads
Everyone is angry. Everyone is holding a cell phone illuminating, documenting, searing our brains with imagery that is revolting.
This is not how civilized society changes civilly.
The right to speak your mind and peacefully assemble is the fundamental backbone of our society.
It allows our nation to stand tall and proud and illicit change by and for the people.
But when the first amendment is gutted by fear and violence and lawless mob speak, then the American backbone crumbles and all that’s left is an enigmatic puddle of gelatinous uncertainty.
And while there is anger in the streets, there is also anger on line.
Freedom of Speech is often cancelled by mob rule when the speech you freely express is not popular.
And cancel culture is swift.
If you don’t agree with the prevailing mantra of the moment, you can be fired, castigated and cancelled.
In may ways, the cancel culture has eliminated the 1st Amendment.
Why would you speak your mind as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment if speaking your mind gets you cancelled.
If you have to think about freedom of expression before you freely express; then you have already lost your 1st Amendment rights.
PERCEPTION IS REALITY
The 1st Amendment is vital to the continuation of this great nation.
We must respect each other and listen to one another even if we don’t agree.
If the 1st Amendment is hijacked by terrorists who threaten your peace and tranquility, then the only answer is submit to the mob or resist.
Interesting how the founding fathers made the right to own a gun the 2nd Amendment.
Battle Lines are Drawn. Only Time Will Tell.