What happened to our freedom of speech? Are we supposed to curtail what we say so that some madman won’t go on a rampage and kill people? Are we supposed to hide who we are so that we can stay safe in today’s society? Well, I sure don’t, otherwise I wouldn’t be as open as I am in this blog.
A few days ago, Democratic U.S. Representative Steve Cohen compared the Republican attacks of the health care repeal to Nazi propaganda advanced by Joseph Goebbels. Republicans, almost immediately, jumped on this analogy as inappropriate. Cohen is Jewish. Excuse me, but he seemed to be trying to make a point relative to something that was meaningful to him.
At CNN, John King apologized for a guest who had used the term “in the crosshairs” during a discussion about the Chicago mayoral race. King said that they were trying to get away from that language. Excuse me? He apologized for a guest??? Has “political correctness” gone way too far?
I understand the influence of speech. Stick and stones sometimes CAN cause violence but I don’t think it should ALWAYS be blamed on the person speaking. It should always, however, be blamed on the one who does the violence. We have choice. We all have the freedom of speech in this country, at least for today. But there is a difference between fomenting violence and a figure of speech. There is a difference between calling names in anger and trying to explain who a person is or a situation. Fomenting violence should be prosecuted. Opinions should not.
Regardless of how people hear the speech, I do not believe that we should lose the freedom of speech, nor be edited in how we feel and how we talk. Once we start down that path, I don’t think we would get true freedom of speech back again. Now that’s a scary thought … losing what is truly an American trait and right.