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The Freedom of Speech in Troubled Times


We the people of the United States of America seem to have lost our way. 

While it is true we stand far apart on the issues that face our troubled nation, what I find troubling is our inability to have an open dialogue about what is most important. It is not the first time in our history the people have been at odds, nor is it the last, but I am finding the recent loss of civility to be distressing.

For those of you who don’t know me well, or at all, I am a typical baby boomer. An odd combination of Janis Joplin, The Monkees and Stevie Wonder form the soundtrack of my early years. The Vietnam War, civil rights, space travel and Andy Griffith helped shape me.

My father was a career military man, a proud NCO in the US Air Force, and I was raised on domestic military installations.  I always stand for our National Anthem and am appalled by those who cheer at ball games before the song is over. I cringe at tattered flags flapping on car windows and have been known to stop workmen taking down a flag at the end of the day, asking them to fold it properly. 

I went to 12 schools before I finished, but claim North Dakota as my childhood home. New York City has been my home for most of my adult life. I tread the boards in NYC and sang with my band in CBGBs. I spent 20 years hard time working with litigators. Now, I am a writer and real estate broker extraordinaire.

I am a woman.

I am a patriot.

I am a liberal.

I am a believer in freedom of expression and the freedom to organize and the First Amendment, which says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I believe in a woman’s right to choose, gun control and gay marriage. You can disagree with me but you cannot judge me.

I have been called foolish.

I have been threatened.

I have been called un-American.

I was raised to believe that it was my civic duty to question my leaders and to honor and protect those that that disagree with me.  While I would never burn a flag, my father defended and I support the right of those who feel it is a necessary form of protest.  We need to try to understand and not to stand in judgment of each other. Disagreeing with the GOP does not make me un-American. In fact, my right to do so is American.

We are tweeting and texting and updating our Facebook statuses to stand in judgment of others. I love having a forum to express my opinion and where I can see opposing points of view.

We are so divided; I doubt we will ever win over the opposing side. Yet, I am hopeful we will make an effort to at least understand the other point of view and stop the ridiculous name-calling and condescension. Come November 7th we will still be neighbors.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.


Comments

Laura Weiss said…
Well it is obvious you are NOT a hater! :) I have many friends and family members that do not share my political or religious views and that's ok! I do however respect all of them for the good people they are. I would never hate anyone for a difference of opinion. Hate is a very strong word and also a dangerous state of mind to be in. Beware of Haters!! Ultimately, my strongest desire politically would be for the Republican and Democratic parties to work together when the next president takes office in November.
May the BEST man for the job of our President win! -VOTE -VOTE -VOTE!!!
Anonymous said…

"We the people of the United States of America seem to have lost our way.

While it is true we stand far apart on the issues that face our troubled nation, what I find troubling is our inability to have an open dialogue about what is most important. It is not the first time in our history the people have been at odds, nor is it the last, but I am finding the recent loss of civility to be distressing."

It is distressing, I also believe it is not an accident.

"For those of you who don’t know me well, or at all, I am a typical baby boomer. An odd combination of Janis Joplin, The Monkees and Stevie Wonder form the soundtrack of my early years. The Vietnam War, civil rights, space travel and Andy Griffith helped shape me."

nobody knows me, there is nothing typical about me. It would take a great amount of time to get to know me, nobody seems to have that commodity.


"I am a woman."

I am a man

"I am a patriot."

while I consider myself a patriot, I can understand how others may not agree.

"I am a liberal."

I am not a liberal

"I am a believer in freedom of expression and the freedom to organize and the First Amendment, which says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

I am a believer in all freedoms listed. I also believe this quote attributed to John Adams. "Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."

"I believe in a woman’s right to choose, gun control and gay marriage. You can disagree with me but you cannot judge me."

I believe anyone should have the right to all available choices. The people should have control over the guns the government has in its possession and that anybody should be allowed to enter into a contract.

"I have been called foolish.

I have been threatened.

I have been called un-American."

I have been called many things and have had serious threats to my freedom. I have been found guilty and imprisoned with no trial. I have had my property taken away without so much as a court hearing.

back in the day coke and pepsi had an advertising war. They worked together and gained market share. all other colas were forgotten, no all other drinks were even forgotten. The dems and repubs are working together, giving an illusion of choice. They have perfected the art of advertising, just look at the stores with a release, people lining up at midnight. paying too much to get what, toys, sneakers, whatever. there is more money in politics and use the same tactics only better. Your thinking indicates only two choices, I say those are the choices they have programmed into you. The incivility has been programmed into people. People need to wake up.

I will post more in the future. Some do not like this copy and paste format. It is easier for me, if it disagrees with you let me know and I will not use it.
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