What is abundantly clear is that civics and government, for that matter even civility, is no longer taught in our public schools and many of those to whom it might have been taught years ago have forgotten the lessons.
First, the United States was not a democracy at its beginning, was never intended to be a democracy, and was specifically and purposefully formed to be a republic. The reason for this choice was because those who designed our country understood, from history, that democracies quickly become autocratic, and they wanted to protect the Natural Rights for all specifically protecting them for the minority from the tyranny of the majority.
The legislative branch of government was designed to be the most powerful branch of government, not an equal branch of government, because it was the closest to the people. All laws must originate in the legislative branch and the legislative branch had the “power of the purse.” However, even the legislative branch was restricted stating the only legislative authority it was supposed to have was in regard to the specific powers we the people enumerated as the powers of the federal government in the United States Constitution. Any power not enumerated was off limits to even the legislative branch.
The Natural Rights, not just those outlined in the founding documents, were rights given to the individual by the Creator, God, and government had no control over them in any form or fashion. The responsibility of government was to protect those rights for the people. The founders were of the generation that let their yes be yes and their no be no, so when they stated that the government was to pass no law establishing a religion or the practice of religion it meant “no” law.
When we are told government cannot abridge speech, it meant that government cannot limit what people say or what they think. Yes, even stupidity can be expressed freely as we hear so often. Stupidity that runs rampant on television and social media is protected. So, when Mika and Joe express their foolish and unfounded accusations, their opinions are protected even one as simple minded as when Mika Brzezinski stated, “You have to ask the question, Joe, and I’ll ask you. Isn’t it OK to deduce that at this point this is what he wants? He is inciting hatred, inciting violence, inciting racism. If he doesn’t unequivocally call it off and say, this is wrong and we stand together against this and we are doing this, this and this to help fight hate crimes — I mean, this is a president who seems to want these things to happen. How else can this be explained if he doesn’t call it off?”
The founders understood that the risk of restricting speech, even speech like the above by Mika, must be not only tolerated but protected because the slippery slope of abridging is steep. It is in democracies that become autocratic where the majority determines certain speech is hate speech and possibly hurts the feelings of some so it must be abridged. Hate speech quickly becomes any speech that does not promote the political agenda of the then most vocal.
Any civics or government class teaching our founding, assuming it is based on accurate history, will teach that our founders understood that government, although necessary, must be limited and controlled. “Our founders understood when creating our government, that government, any government, is the single biggest threat to the freedoms they had just won.” Don Jans
These lessons have been forgotten or where never taught and learned. History teaches us that either we adhere to these principles if we wish to remain free and keep our liberties, or we acquiesce to the simple knee jerk reactions called for by ambitious politicians of today and get on the sled perched at the top of the slippery slope that quickly takes us to the land of an autocratic and tyrannical government that says no law means any law and abridge can mean anything we want it to mean.
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