Freedom of speech may not be free

This is what the Constitution says about freedom of speech: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."  This provision does not address the private sector, where in most cases the First Amendment does not apply.

Can the NFL fine players for kneeling during the anthem?  "Nine Legal experts say yes."  The understanding between the private sector and the government is getting more complicated.  Social media organizations like Twitter, Facebook, and others have banned people, including myself, because they reserve the right to control the speech process.  They do this by eliminating people and their beliefs, which may be in contradiction with Facebook's and others' perceived values.  

These social media organizations reserve the right to control the dialogue about issues by presenting only one side of the problem: theirs.  "Ninety-Six Percent of Google Search Results for 'Trump' News Are from Liberal Media Outlets", says PJ Media.  David Hogg, the ubiquitous anti-gun agitator, says Laura Ingraham mocked student protesters (him specifically) and must be taken off the air.  He is doing this by going after her sponsors.  CBS News radio announced this so it could then publicize the names of Ingraham's sponsors, thus giving Hogg a boost.

If the left doesn't agree with what you say, then it tries to shut you down.  If you disagree with the left, you have to be taken out.  Leftists do not want your side to speak because they see it as dangerous to their cause.  However, what happens if the shoe is on the other foot?

Valdosta, Georgia is a friendly enough town, and I stop there for the night when I am driving to Ohio.  This county is the home of Vidalia Onions, some of the best onions in the world.  However, Valdosta recently became famous for something else.  Tom Hochschild, assistant professor of sociology at Valdosta State University, paid the Roger Budd advertising company for a billboard that reads, "IMPEACH Donald Trump."  The billboard was erected on Thursday, August 17, around 3 P.M., but the billboard advertisement was gone by 2 P.M. the next day.

Hochschild contacted the billboard company to inquire why his billboard had been taken down.  He said in an interview that he was told this by the company: "They told me that they were getting calls from other businesses that advertise with Roger Budd.  Those other businesses were threatening to pull their advertising if the impeach billboard stayed up."

Horchschild went farther: "We have freedom of speech in this country.  Freedom of speech doesn't mean that one political party gets to say whatever they want, or certain views get exposed, and others don't."  He added, "Everybody should be brought to the table, and all views should be heard."  The billboard company is not required to show anything it doesn't want to post.  Hochschild does not have the right to tell a private company what to do or say.  In this case, he does not enjoy freedom of speech.

Facebook, Twitter, and Google are all private companies, and like the Roger Budd Company, they can decline service to whomever they please.   It appears that it is okay for the left to restrict what I can say, but leftists get very upset when the right uses the same tactic to make a point.

I would like to see more people on the right begin to use their voices and their money to get their point of view heard.  I'm not in favor of trying to silence the left, but I want to make sure anyone has the ability, regardless of point of view, to get his voice heard.

The right in the past has defaulted to the left in controlling the agenda, thus giving over the ability to defend what to believe.  I hope we all can learn from the president to speak up and not be intimidated by representatives of the left.  America will be a stronger country if all share their thoughts.

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