Free Speech goes with Free Markets
It’s interesting to see a sort of a slow but growing alarm on the part of both sides of the political aisle over President Obama signing HR 347 which is purportedly to correct and simplify the language of an earlier law that makes restrictions on free speech or protests around certain government buildings or grounds.
It gives much wider latitude for the Secret Service or law enforcement to make a judgment call about potential “threats” to the president or other elected officials and it allows these officials to request and set up “No Free Speech Zones”, insulating them from protests. The law’s supporters are saying it’s only designed to make sure we don’t have some hair brained protester causing safety problems. The detractors see an obvious impingement on free speech and the continuation of an ominous trend toward stifling any political dissent.
What’s healthy is that objections against the law are coming from both the left and the right. It’s good when citizens of a free country put aside their superficial differences and recognize a real threat. Our economic freedoms have been gradually eroded for the last century but we all know that we have the ability to change things by persuading others through our words….and now, more recently and in various forms, we see direct and indirect threats (from so-called hate speech laws and political correctness to campaign finance laws) to our ability to speak our mind – our First Amendment Rights.
No matter your view on other policies, it’s truly an American ideology that almost instinctively fights back when someone says to shut the hell up.
We’re a ways off from having a critical mass of people who get that a threat to any human freedom is ultimately a threat to all human freedom. To those who think that capitalism is just an economic system where we only talk about “the efficient distribution of goods, competition, etc.” without understanding that we must have the political freedoms protected as well, I say check your premises.