John Whitehead – Dangerous Speech: Would the Founders Be Considered Domestic Extremists Today?

Not only has free speech become a four-letter word–profane, obscene, uncouth, not to be uttered in so-called public places–but in more and more cases, the US government deems it to be downright dangerous and in some instances illegal. It has become particularly intolerant of speech that challenges its power, reveals its corruption, exposes its lies, and encourages the citizenry to push back against its many injustices.

Indeed, there is a long and growing list of the kinds of speech that the government considers dangerous enough to red flag and subject to censorship, surveillance, investigation and prosecution: hate speech, bullying speech, intolerant speech, conspiratorial speech, treasonous speech, threatening speech, incendiary speech, inflammatory speech, radical speech, anti-government speech, right-wing speech, extremist speech, etc.

Yet by allowing the government to whittle away at cherished First Amendment freedoms–which form the backbone of the Bill of Rights–we have evolved into a society that would not only be abhorrent to the founders of this country, but would be hostile to the words¬†they¬†used to birth this nation.

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