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Final Thoughts on Freedom of Speech

"Without the ability to speak, how are we to stand up against them the next time they're wrong?"

-Chadwick Dolgos

What a year this has been. While 2020 was the worst we have all seen in our lifetime, 2021 didn’t shape up to be any better. Throughout the year, I closely followed the principles of free speech and how they were treated under certain circumstances. I followed cancel culture’s reign of terror as they tried to eliminate Dave Chappelle, Gina Carano, and Aaron Rodgers from the national spotlight. I followed as the nation became abundantly complacent with freedom of speech being removed from college campuses. I explained why the principles of free speech are important, and why a free society depends on them.

However, there are still people to this day that disagree. Throughout the year, I have been accused of promoting hate speech, punching down on oppressed groups of people, and only defending the principles of free speech when it’s convenient for me and my political ideology. None of this could be further from the truth. Hate speech is protected speech under the First Amendment. I argue that it should remain that way, because what’s classified as ‘hate’ is subjective. Who determines what’s protected speech versus what’s hate speech?

I have never used my blog to punch down on any minority group. Sure, I threw some punches at the socialists who bring us today’s failing economy, but socialism in this country, unfortunately, is far from a minority view. I have always advocated being who you are and being proud of it. I argue against using who you are as a means to stealing other people’s property. I just wanted to make that distinction clear.

Freedom of speech is for everybody, not just those with liberty-minded views similar to mine. I have argued that Black Lives Matter protesters have a Constitutional right to peacefully protest in the streets. I urged caution as many states took on Anti-Rioting legislation to assure that the principles of free speech aren’t being violated. Censorship is a form of oppression. Nobody should feel oppressed by the beliefs that they hold. This is a free country. If you have a message and want to preach it, that’s why we have the First Amendment. Of course, the First Amendment does not protect destruction of property or violence. Wherever free speech is exercised, however, I fully support the right to do so.

The daily #FREESPEECHMATTERS posts were exhausting at times, as I’m sure they were to you as well. I decided to take on this challenge because I firmly believe that we move on from issues dear to us too quickly. The media has the ability to choose what topic we care about and for how long. Freedom of speech has always been a top priority for me because I was never comfortable with being told what to say and how to speak. As I grow older, it baffles me that there are still people who think that words cause more harm than actual physical violence. People’s beliefs may offend you, but you have the choice to not get offended.

The current attack on the principles of free speech is not only damaging to democracy, but to society as a whole. We the people would prosper if we had the ability to communicate without the fear of losing our jobs. Many of our country’s perceived problems could be solved if we all just said the quiet part out loud. In the home of the brave, we shouldn’t be afraid to express what we think. Cancel culture and the mob have destroyed effective communication channels. They have turned Facebook and Twitter into woke resources that only defend one political ideology.

I hope 2022 turns out differently. I hope people wake up demanding freedom. I want you to make it your New Year’s resolution to start saying what you mean. Stop beating around the bush to spare other people’s feelings. Being over concerned with how what we say is perceived is getting us nowhere. Don’t be afraid to be wrong. When we’re wrong, we should use it as an opportunity to learn. Instead, the mob uses it as an opportunity to destroy our entire livelihood.

Lastly, I want my readers to stop listening to the mob’s demands. They do not speak for all of us, but our attention gives them the momentum they need to destroy people’s lives. Let’s start thinking for ourselves. We don’t need celebrities or professional athletes to tell us how to live, right? Life is what you make it; don’t let them make it for you.

While the daily posts are coming to an end, I will continue to closely monitor the issue of free speech and write on the topic when I deem it necessary. In 2022, I would like to start exercising free speech on a number of topics that I believe society is getting wrong. These won’t be daily posts, but I urge you to keep an eye out for them. I want to discuss issues like abortion, Critical Race Theory, gun control, and many others. I hope you will join me for another year of The Washington Wick!

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