Top Three Takeaways – January 14th, 2021
- Words matter. It was a consistent theme on Capitol Hill Wednesday as the House moved to impeach President Trump for the 2nd time in as many January’s. The Democrat led effort to impeach President Trump passionately argued that the President’s words were directly responsible for the violence at the Capitol. As someone who has spent more than half of his life communicating for a living, I’ll agree that indeed words matter. In fact, it’s why after killing a sufficient number of British regulars with guns and such, our founders said it’s the first thing about this country that’d be different and protected. Even above the guns they used to kill the British regulars to obtain the right to create the freedom of expression in this country. Those guns used for killing came second, indeed our first Amendment protected right would-be words. About now you might be wondering why I’ve emphasized the killing of British regulars. After all, I could make the same point by simply stating...after they won the revolution...avoiding the messy details about how freedom was won. The point is two-fold. First, to illustrate that it’s not just what’s said but how something is said that matters. Hearing about the winning of the revolution likely doesn’t invoke an emotional response. Hearing about the mass killing of Brits in the name of independence might be less comfortable.
- But do all words matter? In the interest of keeping you intellectually uncomfortable for moment, my second takeaway is a first Amendment play on words from the expression “all lives matter”. Five years ago, if someone told you all lives mattered, you’d probably just agree and get on with your day. Now in the era of political correctness run amok, alongside the cancel culture nets you what, when you hear the phrase “all lives matter”? I really want you to stop and think about this for a moment. What’s the first thought that comes to mind when I say “all lives matter”? Language, and what were even recently positive statements, have been bastardized and demonized by those seeking to limit the use of expression of others. Those seeking control over the use of language. Those seeking to censor others. Indeed, in this environment all words do matter, but it doesn’t matter what your intent is – which incidentally is literally what’s required under law to convict somebody of incitement, not just the words you say – it only matters what those seeking to control the words say they do. In the example of “all lives matter”, you’re not inherently a racist. In fact, the likely racists are those who take offense to it and are projecting onto you.
- Express yourself. The 2021 version of Madonna is part of the cancel/censor culture. The 1989 version had it right. This is a critical moment in American history with a cold war type revolution that’s being fought over expression. Most people, regardless of political persuasion, will acknowledge the importance of protecting the first Amendment. After all who doesn’t support free speech, right? Ahh, but more than you know and likely ever suspected. Let me ask you. What percentage of Americans don’t support the first Amendment? Do you have a number in mind? In a 2018 study from the First Amendment Center of the Freedom Forum Institute, they found support for the First Amendment stood at...77%. That’s right nearly a quarter of Americans don’t support free speech. Welcome to the real agenda of the cancel culture, which is the censor culture. Under law incitement has to be proven with intent. Unless you genuinely believe it was President Trump’s intent to have the lunatic fringe of his supporters literally take the Capitol by force – he's innocent under law. And yet he stands impeached. The United States Supreme Court has ruled online speech isn’t just protected speech under the First Amendment, they most recently stated it’s the most important speech which exists today, and yet big tech is censoring. Now, right now, is the time we must rhetorically push back. Express yourself. Don’t hold back. Provided you’re a well-intended person, don’t ever cave to political correctness another day in your life. What you, I, we have been caving to is a movement which is led by those who genuinely don’t believe in free speech. And if they can successfully erode our founding principal and first constitutional right, all others can more easily be done away with as well.
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