Attack on Free Speech


“Did you know you have rights? The Constitution says you do!” is a popular meme from the TV show Better Call Saul, but it rings true. Under the U.S. Constitution, we all have the right to free speech. However, many politicians from both ends of the political spectrum did not get that message and are attacking free speech.

On the right side of the spectrum, we have the current Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, who is trying to criminalize drag shows and ban books. We also have a bill in Florida that would make political dissenters register in a database. Banning books actively goes against free speech. Some authors will not be allowed to “speak” in the library if their books are banned. The books being banned are primarily books that deal with LGBTQ+ topics and with Critical Race Theory. I may not necessarily agree with all the ideas in those books but censorship limits the spread of ideas and information. As for drag shows, I personally do not like them, but I do not want to limit a person from expressing themselves. We have regular shows in the same style as drag shows, and they do not get censored, so why should they? Forcing political dissenters to register is insane. Each day the report they have to do is late, they are fined $25, so it is basically a pay-to-play scheme to criticize the government. If people have to pay, that is fewer people criticizing the government. It is similar to the poll tax in early Alabama. Fewer people were represented because they could not afford the poll tax to vote. It is embarrassing and hypocritical that a group of people who are angry for being banned from social media are actively trying to censor opinions.

The left side of the spectrum is no saint either and is just as bad. Washington State tried to make a bias hotline bill. The bill would create a hotline that people could call to report bias. If bias is found, the person could be rewarded up to $2,000. The report would then be referred to law enforcement. We should not be punished by the government for our own individual thoughts and speech. This bill, if it had gone through, would have been a humongous detriment to the rights of the people of Washington. The system would have wasted much of the taxpayers’ money on false reports that are just people’s opinions that they are entitled to. Not to mention the amount of abuse this hotline will be used for just for people to make a quick buck by making up some story. Just as someone has the right to be homosexual (which I support 100%), someone should have the right to criticize them (which I do not support at all). Just because I do not agree with someone does not mean their voice should not be heard.

Both sides of the political spectrum are actively going against free speech to further their own agenda. Whether it is the hypocritical Republicans banning books while complaining about being censored on Twitter, or Democrats trying to censor opinions, the whole political system is against free speech.