By Stephan Duncan, Eggplant Editor
All complaints will be filed in the trash
Ever since the birth of our country, the act of free speech has been a pivotal, necessary, and protected right that is given to every American born or immigrated. Yet, with that right comes an additional right that must be acknowledged and accepted throughout our nation: the right of free speech gives you the right to sound, act, or simply be idiotic. As more and more members of our younger generation strive to argue against free speech, since they don’t like when others don’t agree with them, we cannot forget all of the benefits it gives us. That may mean burning down buildings meant for the education of the young minds of our great nation, because you don’t agree with a public speaker. It doesn’t matter. It’s all protected under the barrier of free speech. But people may ask—isn’t the destruction of private and public property a crime permissible by fines and jail time? In this case, no. As said by Thomas Jefferson while he was building America with patriotism and slaves, whose words were later altered by Abraham Lincoln as he was dumping tea into the Boston Harbor, only for them to be twisted by some liberal art college student on Twitter: “Burn that sh— down!” Did that last sentence make any sense and was it backed up by any historical fact whatsoever? Nope, but I can say it. Free speech.
Yes, free speech! This fundamental right allows me to add a hashtag onto the end of any sentence and suddenly, I’m part of a movement I couldn’t care less about. And yes, movements are the products of free speech, so we cannot ignore them in the slightest. Movements can surely bring multiple political and social issues to life, such as women’s rights or why so many people prefer digital music to CDs and records. Yet with all their signs and protests, will anything change? Not really, but the comfort of being allowed to protest every conceivable aspect of society for both political gain and attention is just another beautiful product of free speech. Take the momentous example of UC Berkley: the students had every right to protest hate speech through alternate facts, and Milo Yiannopoulos had the right to travel the country, spewing whatever instigating rhetoric that spews out of his mouth. Some use free speech to identify with people they will never meet in their lifetimes yet they have the patriotic right to say they’re “cultural” just because they identity with said culture. In fact, this half-assed product of a satirical piece from the mind of a senior experiencing a constant existential crisis is another terrible product of free speech.
So as we enter a new age of America, one that will certainly end in ruin and idiocy no matter which troll is elected to public office, we can always rely on that handy First Amendment right. A right that allows us to speak without thought, believe without fact, protest without foundation, and complain without restraint. Unless, of course, that right is taken away from me, because I don’t agree with your progressive or conservative ideas. Too harsh? Bad news: free speech.
Photograph Credits: Post Tradition Buddhism Website