View Poll Results: Free speech question

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Thread: Freedom of speech

  1. #1
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    Freedom of speech

    Starting with the Rush Limbaugh thing and also continuing with some of the comments I see about the idea of disclosure of political donations. There seems to be an idea that speech is not free if people react negatively to what someone says.

    For example, there was a claim made by some that Rush Limbaugh was losing his free speech rights because people boycotted his advertisers and there seems to be similar fears about disclosure of PAC or campaign contributions.

    So my question is this, is the first amendment harmed if the citizenry refuses to associate with or purchase from someone because they dislike their speech? Similarly, is this impugned if people threaten to do the same if someone decides to make such a statement in the future? (example, don't talk bad about puppies or I will never buy from your store again and I will write a letter to your job's complaint department.)
    Last edited by tacomancer; 04-30-12 at 01:42 PM.

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    Re: Freedom of speech

    Nope, that's pure BS. Boycotts have jack to do with the 1st Amendment.

    Also, I do not consider political donations to be speech, and view the disclosure of campaign donations and finances to simply be a matter of transparency.
    Last edited by StillBallin75; 04-30-12 at 01:41 PM.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
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    Re: Freedom of speech

    No, it's not harmed. Some people conflate "freedom of speech" with "freedom from criticism" and "freedom from consequences." That's all that the arguments you describe in your OP are.

  4. #4
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    Re: Freedom of speech

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Starting with the Rush Limbaugh thing and also continuing with some of the comments I see about the idea of disclosure of political donations. There seems to be an idea that speech is not free if people react negatively to what someone says.

    For example, there was a claim made by some that Rush Limbaugh was losing his free speech rights because people boycotted his advertisers and there seems to be similar fears about disclosure of PAC or campaign contributions.

    So my question is this, is the first amendment harmed if the citizenry refuses to associate with or purchase from someone because they dislike their speech? Similarly, is this impugned if people threaten to do the same if someone decides to make such a statement in the future? (example, don't talk bad about puppies or I will never buy from your store again and I will write a letter to your job's complaint department.)
    I answered no. You have the right to free speech.You do not have the right of freedom from criticism over something you said,freedom from being fired over something you said about your boss or boycotted over something your said.

    That said it does make you a hypocrite when you claim to support free speech and you try to silence opposing views.Boycots can be used as a means to try to silence views you don't like.Shouting down can be used as a means of silencing views you don't like.Rioting can also be used as a means to silence views you don't like.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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    Re: Freedom of speech

    Of course not, it's silly to claim otherwise.
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    Re: Freedom of speech

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    I answered no. You have the right to free speech.You do not have the right of freedom from criticism over something you said,freedom from being fired over something you said about your boss or boycotted over something your said.

    That said it does make you a hypocrite when you claim to support free speech and you try to silence opposing views.Boycots can be used as a means to try to silence views you don't like.Shouting down can be used as a means of silencing views you don't like.Rioting can also be used as a means to silence views you don't like.
    Isn't quote "shouting down" someone else's point of view simply free speech of another form? May the best man win
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

  7. #7
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    Re: Freedom of speech

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBallin75 View Post
    Isn't quote "shouting down" someone else's point of view simply free speech of another form? May the best man win
    That is pretty much how I see it. There is no rule about free speech that says that someone must respect the speech of another. As long as nobody is busting down someone's door and putting a gun at their head, it is perfectly legal and ethical to promote what one sees as trying to steer society for the better. If that means getting a bigger bull horn, advocating for or against something, boycotting something one sees as harmful, or whatever, its fine and probably our duty as a citizen to promote the best society possible.

    I don't see why this could be seen as hypocritical. For right or wrong, there are people who honestly believe that what Rush says is harmful, just like there are those who think that what Al Sharpton says is harmful. While personally, I don't think either are that harmful, it is well within morality for someone to try and quell harmful things as a form of associating with one's community.

    We try to quell racist speech (not that I am trying to equate rush or al with racism, but this is a valid example) and that is seen as valid, even though it is still speech. We recognize as a society, that such speech creates an atmosphere for harms to occur. Some feel this way about conservatism, liberalism, or whatever point of view.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 04-30-12 at 02:04 PM.

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    Re: Freedom of speech

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    That is pretty much how I see it. There is no rule about free speech that says that someone must respect the speech of another. As long as nobody is busting down someone's door and putting a gun at their head, it is perfectly legal and ethical to promote what one sees as trying to steer society for the better. If that means getting a bigger bull horn, advocating for or against something, boycotting something one sees as harmful, or whatever, its fine and probably our duty as a citizen to promote the best society possible.

    I don't see why this could be seen as hypocritical. For right or wrong, there are people who honestly believe that what Rush says is harmful, just like there are those who think that what Al Sharpton says is harmful. While personally, I don't think either are that harmful, it is well within morality for someone to try and quell harmful things as a form of associating with one's community.

    We try to quell racist speech (not that I am trying to equate rush or al with racism, but this is a valid example) and that is seen as valid, even though it is still speech. We recognize as a society, that such speech creates an atmosphere for harms to occur. Some feel this way about conservatism, liberalism, or whatever point of view.
    Yeah, I don't see it as hypocritical at all. Racist or bigoted speech I am against and I will challenge it whenever and wherever I encounter it. That doesn't mean that I support the LEGAL limitation or infringement of someone else's 1st Amendment rights, unless that speech is immediately harmful (the yelling fire in a crowded theater scenario or incitements to violence).
    Last edited by StillBallin75; 04-30-12 at 02:08 PM.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

  9. #9
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    Re: Freedom of speech

    One question people should ask themselves. "If I see people boycotting Rush's advertisers as illegitimate, how would I see about someone boycotting the advertisers of a KKK radio show or a radio show that encourages people towards a fundamentalist view of Islam?"

    Everyone has, in their minds, a category of speech that they see as harmful and detrimental to one's fellow man even if that speech is perfectly legal, they would still turn their back on it and choose not to associate with others who support it.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 04-30-12 at 02:15 PM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Freedom of speech

    The speech is free. It's guaranteed.

    The ramifications of said speech become the personal problem of the speaker. Be willing to stand behind what you say before you speak. It's required of you by your peers.

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