Monday, October 17, 2005

On freedom of speech ($1.05)

Okay, so the thought-provoking and occasionally contentious TBogg wants to know:
s it possible that, maybe once, someone representing the pro-war side could refrain from reminding us that someone somewhere, or someone in the past, died/is fighting for/respects our right to dissent? Yeah. We get it. We've heard.

It's a question that's been on my mind, if not actually in my blog. Our freedom of speech seems to be the only Constitutional right we're asked to voluntarily give up simply for the reason that we have it. I've yet to hear a pundit, blogger or government official imply that because Americans have fought and died for our right to bear arms, everyone owning a handgun or hunting rifle needs to hand it over in the interest of patriotism; if anyone did, the poopstorm would be indescribable. But somehow, the argument that someone died for our right to speak, and so we ought to shut up, comes up repeatedly.

This isn't to say that we aren't asked to give up other rights for other reasons. We're expected to be okay with the government monitoring our e-mail and even searching our houses without our knowledge, 'cause we're in a war and any one of us could be a terr'ist. And just the other day I got into an... enthusiastic discussion with someone who couldn't understand why people hated Michelle Malkin's defense of internment camps because, well, they worked, didn't they? We're constantly asked to give up our freedom in the interest of national security; it's only our freedom of speech that we're asked to give up simply because it was given to us.

For the record, just in case anyone was curious, I'm kind of attached to all of them. And I plan to exercise all of them. Yeah, okay, people fought and died for us to have a country that's just bustin' with freedom, and for us not to take full advantage of that freedom would be more disrespectful than anything that a blogger could say about President Bush.

/ preaching to the converted

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