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Support For Free Speech Is Dropping, Our Youth Is Against It

Support For Free Speech Is Dropping, Our Youth Is Against It

One of our nation’s great founding principles is that speech, or more specifically, free speech, is held as a sacred trust. It turns out that the view of this trust is quickly being eroded as our young are increasing in numbers who think that this should not be a right for all.

With the woke crowd, demanding we address someone by their preferred pronoun, not say something that could offend someone, we must be protective of all minorities feelings, why they attack us with impunity, our right to speak freely is now being seen as a thing of the past, one best done away with. It turns out after it looks like Trump lost the election, or more accurately, had it taken from him, now the Democrats and Pelosi were willing to sit down and pass a bill (this shows where their priorities are, it was not with the American people).

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On December 6th the Heartland Institute conducted a poll, in this poll they found more than half of likely voters say government should not ban speech considered to be offensive, including on social media sites, a large proportion of younger voters support such bans.

When asked, “Should federal or state governments ban speech by individuals that a majority of Americans believes to be offensive, including speech on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter?,” 56% of likely voters said, “no.” Only 26% of likely voters responded, “yes,” while 18% said they are “not sure.”

Likewise, most likely voters do not think jail time is a reasonable punishment for those who engage in speech a majority of Americans believes to be offensive. When asked, “Should those who violate such bans against offensive speech be punished with jail time?,” 23% of likely voters said “yes.” On the other hand, 55% of likely voters responded “no.” Somewhat surprisingly, 21% of likely voters said they were “not sure” in response to this question.

The survey, conducted December 6-7, found that support for free-speech bans was significantly higher among younger Americans. Among the respondents aged 18 to 39, 37% said they support a government ban on some speech, compared to just 22% for those aged 40 to 64 and 20% for those aged 65 or older.

While these results show that a strong majority of likely voters believe the United States should vehemently protect citizens’ right to the freedom of speech. The results also demonstrate that most likely voters are not in favor of free speech bans or harsh punishments for those who violate such bans.

What is worrysome is our future, the youth in this country, are increasingly feeling that free speech should be controlled, if one’s speech offends someone or some group, it should not be protected. Remember, these people one day will be leading this nation.

A free society cannot exist without free speech, and yet, one in four Americans now want government to limit the speech rights of their fellow citizens. Even more troubling, the numbers are higher among young people, with about 37 percent of those aged 18 to 39 years old supporting such bans.

“The growing movement to stifle free speech and expression should deeply concern everyone—Republicans and Democrats alike—because protecting the First Amendment is essential for preserving our nation. If this trend continues, it’s unlikely the United States will survive the next half-century.”

The Supreme Court said it best when this question was brought before them:

“We now hold that this provision violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote of the provision in his plurality opinion. “It offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend.”

“The disparagement clause denies registration to any mark that is offensive to a substantial percentage of the members of any group,” Alito writes. “That is viewpoint discrimination in the sense relevant here: Giving offense is a viewpoint.”

“Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful,” Alito adds, “but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express ‘the thought that we hate.’”

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One of the rights that define us as Americans are the right to speak freely. The other right that enables us to do so without restriction is the 2nd amendment; this protects us from having the First Amendment right infringed on by the government. This can explain why when the First Amendment comes under attack, we see the Second Amendment coming under attack. The reason for this is simple; armed people are not so quickly subdued. Take away the right to protect themselves; you quickly can move to strip their other rights away as well.

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About The Author

Timothy Benton

Student of history, a journalist for the last 2 years. Specialize in Middle East History, more specifically modern history with the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Also, a political commentator has been a lifetime fan of politics.

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