The First Amendment in the United States Bill of Rights ensures the following:
“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.”
During this Presidential Race, the First Amendment has been repeatedly violated. Somewhat surprising is the lack of concern over this fact. To compare, any time the Second Amendment – “the right to keep and bear arms” – has been even remotely threatened, there has been immediate and widespread outrage. Does anyone even care about the First Amendment?
Last week, headlines across America announced calls for Senator Hillary Clinton to back out of this race. Her own Democratic Party has seemingly set up roadblocks to prevent her from winning the nomination, going as far as discounting the votes of over two million party members. In a race that remains too close to call, the media has concocted the notion that by continuing to run for the Democratic Leadership, Senator Clinton is doing her party a disservice. Is she really?
Does it make sense for this proven champion of Universal Healthcare, a Democratic cornerstone, to back down? Within the first week of becoming the First Lady, over a dozen years ago, Hillary Clinton began the arduous process of obtaining quality and affordable healthcare for every single American citizen – and has never ceased to deviate from this goal. Her rival, Senator Barack Obama, speaks highly of this potential paradigm shift in American healthcare, however, has absolutely no credentials to support his claim of eventually reforming the current, and fatally wounded, system.
Does it make sense for the partner of the only Democratic President of the United States in recent memory to accomplish completing his two consecutive terms with a budgetary surplus, to back down now? It is not a mere coincidence that Senator Clinton’s vicarious experience, as the most over qualified First Lady in American history, enabled her to draft the first and most comprehensive approach, to be revealed during this Presidential race, to reversing the worst recession in over a half century.
Senator Clinton’s rivals are violating her own – as well as that of her supporters – right to petition the Government with repeated attempts to run her off the road to the Whitehouse. How does it serve the best interests of the American people to only have a single choice to lead them out of darkness? Why even bother having an election? The spirit of the First Amendment ensures that America is lead by a government created by the people, for the people. When Barack Obama’s campaign encourages the forgery of delegates to boost his numbers during caucuses, any American with an opposing point of view has had their First Amendment violated. Is “freedom of speech” a broad sweeping concept that protects a person’s right to lie, cheat, and steal – or what Senator Obama refers to as “borrow”?
There is nothing noble or intelligent about laying out one’s own plan only after a rival has put forth their own. The top three issues in the current election are 1) The Economy, 2) Healthcare, 3) The Iraq War. Senator Obama put forth his position on each of these ONLY AFTER Senator Clinton laid out her approach. Deceptively, his political stance on each issue has been a product of adjusting the details that were most criticized in Senator Clinton’s work and then calling the revised version his own. Somehow, I doubt plagiarism is the variety of “free speech” that the First Amendment protects.
Misinterpreting the right to “free speech” demeans the other important points laid out in the Bill of Rights, thereby jeopardizing the liberties of every American. We have observed that it is acceptable for an individual or group to verbally assault another for having a differing point of view when it comes to governing this country. However, it is this “free speech” which is attempting to eliminate free choice in this election. What if a Republican does not like John McCain? Similarly, by calculatingly shortening the ballot for the Democratic Leadership – or outright abandoning the votes of an entire state – we are evaporating the fundamental right of every American to grieve the current government. One aspect of the First Amendment is abusing the other.
The Amendment that is most frequently invoked is the Second Amendment – America’s favorite child. Perhaps it is time to revisit the remaining items in the Bill of Rights. Perhaps it is also time to bring those words to life because they are more than mere notions or historical details, they are the bricks that America was built with. Until this happens, keep away from the Kool-Aid because it is spiked with GHB (the date rape drug).