The Constitution and Freedom of the Press and Expression | Staff/guest columns
In 1787, as the framers put in place the structure and content of the Constitution, which was to succeed the Articles of Confederation, among the topics they discussed and debated were those of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. For them, it was important that a free people could not only instruct and teach (although they are critical for an informed and educated public) but also express their opinions freely, that is, without fear of reprisal, repercussions, censorship or silence. , the Crown or its agents, or civil authorities. Because, by definition, this involved the concept of speaking to power, it had to be carefully thought out, worded and articulated – no mouth shots; impiety; defamation; threats, obscenities; incentive; calumny; fraud; perjury; etc In other words, citizens’ words, spoken or written, must (or should) be civil and adult at all times. Obviously, such freedom of expression is powerful and can itself have repercussions – which is why newspaper editors and others are constantly vigilant that the writers of articles, even local letter writers, do not not stray from good manners and polite speech in what they submit for publication.
Because it was so important that a free citizenry be able to speak freely to people in positions of power and authority, and indeed had done so for more than 150 years before the American Revolution, it was paramount to retain this straight. Therefore, the framers placed it just behind our right to freedom of religion and its exercise in the order of our rights in the Constitution itself, even before our right to defend ourselves against, as the oath of allegiance of every public citizen to the Constitution, all enemies, foreign and domestic. And they put the right to a free press right behind that, which gives us an idea of how important they were to that as well. In fact, the press was expected to be America’s “vox populi”, the voice of the people.
How things have changed! For the almighty dollar, and because they are now chasing the chimera of Marxism, “The Press” (with few exceptions) is no longer our vox populi, but the propaganda arm of Big Government, Big Business, Big Medicine, Big Pharma, Big Everything, the exact reverse of what the drafters intended when they wrote the First Amendment. Instead of protecting the people from the government, “the press” has become an accomplice of big government against its own citizens. The good news is that we are still a self-reliant people and that we can, if we do it right, reclaim our liberties, our liberties, our country.
When you have an industry driven by naked greed and political ideology, you have an industry plagued by corruption and desperate to improve its precious bottom line – and utterly beholden to its financial benefactors. And when you have an industry that profits financially by playing with the government, against the people, and is clearly in business, not because it believes in self-reliance, freedom, patriotism, etc., but for the mere profit and a burning desire to transform our republic into a Marxist “paradise”, nothing good will come of it. It is clear: over the years, since Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto (1841), his philosophy, his policies and his practices have only resulted, as Winston Churchill said, in misery. As the record shows, millions of its victims died, of starvation or murder, under Marxist rule. But their leaders, in pursuit of their paradise of plenty, willingly and joyously embraced the chimera. Until they can’t.
“It can’t happen here”? But it is, and has been, almost from day one, when Marx published his Communist Manifesto. And when John Dewey, in 1895, restructured American public education (which until then had been among the best in the world) into a Marxist-oriented curriculum. Look at the Disney company, for example. He’s so “woke” that he just can’t wait to complete his self-proclaimed task of corrupting the morals of our children. Just look at the reaction of Disney executives to Florida’s new law on the sexual indoctrination of schoolchildren in grades three and under. Obviously the folks at Disney never heard from Loudon County, Virginia, about Momma Bears and the recent Virginia gubernatorial election, or they are deluding themselves into thinking they are so big, so powerful and so rich. that they are safe from the negative consequences of ordinary citizens, even angry mother bears. Newsflash: The Disney Company is on course for a slow suicide. Additionally, anyone who still believes that some companies (even government entities) are “too big to fail” should also remember that they are often too big to succeed. Bigger is not always better.
Do you still believe it can’t happen here? A major element of Marx’s Communist Manifesto is the complete destruction of the family as the basic unit of society (of which he saw the elimination of religion and morality as integral parts). His intention was to replace the family with the state and public education, and we certainly see that playing out in the fruity plains, between parents and school boards dominated by teachers’ unions. Public education is not, in and of itself, necessarily a bad idea, as long as it is education, not indoctrination, and maintains the ideals of our society, rather than replacing them. This is one of the reasons many parents (rightly) ask their school boards the tough questions. And woe to those who try to ignore these questions or try not to answer them.
There is an oft-quoted aphorism, often attributed to Thomas Jefferson, that “an educated population is an essential condition for our survival as a free people.” Education comes from asking, questioning, learning and the freedom to do so. Notice he didn’t say “indoctrinated”; he said, “educated.” Let’s keep it that way.
I want comments and suggestions; if you have a specific question or area of the Constitution that you would like to address, please let me know. Bud Nason lives in Littlestown, is a conservative thinker and Adams County voter. Email him at budnas[email protected]