Sunday, July 29, 2012
Free Speech Has Consequences
Now some of his right-wing cohorts have sprung to his defense. They claim the criticism of him is a denial of constitutionally-protected free speech. What a load of crap! These right-wing nuts obviously don't understand the concept of free speech. While the Constitution guarantees people the right to say nearly any idiotic thing that pops into their head, it doesn't guarantee that once they say it they won't be criticized, ridiculed, or have to suffer any consequences. The Constitution only guarantees that the government can't forbid them from saying it.
Something else the right seems to have forgotten is that free speech is not limited to right-wingers or fundamentalist christians. It extends to all Americans, and includes the right to criticize or ridicule the speech of others. No one is saying the Chick-fil-A owner didn't have the right to say what he did -- he obviously did have the right under our Constitution. But other people also have that same right, and they are using it to point out what a stupid, homophobic and downright un-American thing it was that he said. That is the way free speech works in a free country.
Anyone in this country has the right to say whatever they want -- as long as it doesn't endanger their fellow citizens (like falsely yelling fire in a crowded theater). But if they choose to publicly say something stupid or hateful, then they must be willing to take the heat when other Americans exercise those same free speech rights and point that out.