Thursday, April 19, 2018

When Natural Rights Are Being Suppressed, Stand Strong

There is no question that a climate of extreme polarization is taking place in America.  It is reaching the extent that there are two very different nations, or populations, emerging within the same geographic space.

The two visions are irreconcilable and incompatible in the long run. In the short term it is accelerating a lot of conflict between individuals and communities.

A very dangerous trend is taking place within this climate.  Both the government and large corporations are engaging in the suppression of natural rights, and at the top of the list is the freedom of expression (speech).

Major social media providers are increasingly deciding what their users will and will not see, what they deem to be acceptable, or quality, posts, and censoring users who run afoul of various transgressions as established by the providers.

By using words like "hate speech" or "offensive speech", or "harassment", they have aimed to put anyone disagreeing with their censoring in a bad light.  After all, how can anyone be supportive of "hate", or "offensive speech", or "harassment"?

The fatal flaw in their position is that the definition of "hate speech", "offensive speech" and "harassment" has broadened to the point where simple disagreement, legitimate criticism, and having a different view or opinion has fallen into these categories under their perspective.

Free expression and free discourse includes speech that may be deemed hateful and offensive.  This is very different from making a specific threat to someone, or an active call for violence.

One only has to see what is transpiring all across Europe to see what I mean.  Expression of one's own opinion about certain Islamic beliefs expressed in their religious texts, or discussing the dangers and costs that come to communities as a result of mass migration, can get a person fined or arrested in many countries.

The criticisms voiced by such individuals might well cause discomfort or even offend some, but they are part of legitimate discourse, dissent, and expression.  They involve issues that could have profound future consequences for everything from women's rights to the sustainability of social welfare programs, to the safety of the LGBTQ community, to name a few.  The zeal with which the governments of many countries in Europe suppress the opinions and criticisms of many of their citizens in regard to these issues raises serious questions about the agendas they are pursuing.

Agendas versus free expression are at the epicenter of the issue.

In America, anyone who is intellectually honest can see this in the current gun control debate as it pertains to the media's usage of Parkland students in their coverage, editorial content, and events.  Students such as David Hogg, who align solidly with an anti-gun agenda, are given extensive coverage, invitation to forums, and wide exposure, while students such as Kyle Kashuv, who is a defender of the right to bear arms, finds options for media coverage and events much more limited.

It is clear that the mainstream media is not engaged in journalism, but rather the promotion of an agenda.  This is demonstrated in what is covered, who is interviewed and what side of the issue they are on.

While Hogg is advocating for changes that will undeniably result in the suppression of the Second Amendment, media figures react in an adversarial fashion if one questions anything about him, from his FBI connections through his father, to where exactly he was during the Parkland shooting. (some stories say he was at home during the shooting and then rode a bike to the campus, while others have him in another building separate from where the shooting took place).

Questions seeking to clarify facts are not bullying in any way, contrary to what media figures would have you think. They are legitimate inquiries into a young figure who has irrefutably been spotlighted by the media as one of the leaders of a movement.  They are important in exploring how David Hogg skyrocketed to such media prominence while others did not.

In a school with over 3,000 students, asking why David Hogg has such an eminent position versus his peers who went through the same experience is a question that any honest journalist should be asking. Unfortunately, real journalism is in short supply these days beyond alternative and independent media outlets.

Thankfully, America's fundamental principles provides protections for freedom of expression in the face of agenda-driven suppression.

The Bill of Rights has the concept of Natural Rights at its foundation.  Natural Rights are an innate part of being a living human person, upon birth, and are not granted by government or any other human-created entity.

What is given by a government can be taken away.  Natural Rights, which are not given by government, can not be taken by government either, only suppressed.

Further, America is a constitutional republic, not a democracy.  A constitutional republic is a bulwark against the kind of mob rule that those with agendas would desire to enact. This is why they are so eager to eradicate things like the Electoral College and other things that protect the minority from tyranny of the majority.

Ultimately, people simply need to understand the power that they have within them as individuals.  All that is needed is the determination and will to take a stand when it comes to the defense of Natural Rights.  A refusal to give ground.  A refusal to allow suppression of Natural Rights to occur.

This path requires backbone and the thick skin required to endure a hailstorm of name-calling and character assassination attempts, but it is the same path that threw off the yoke of a tyrannical monarch and set in motion a country that achieved tremendous success and uniqueness in all of human history.

It is time to embrace that spirit once more.

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