by Eric Fahrenthold:
I’m going to just jump in here and try to express a situation that has currently transformed our once very straight forward culture into a tribe of mediocre intellects with a Orwellian complex and virtually no moral standards. It has been several weeks since my last article. Lately my time was consumed by the congressional primary here in Oklahoma. To be brief I did run for house rep and although it was a great experience one of the candidates spent nearly 100k and many of us were wiped out. Unfortunately for her, Jane Pollard, all that money did not carry her across the finish line in the run off. The winner of house district 41 in Oklahoma was won by Denise Hader. It was a very narrow and dramatic victory. Denise is an honest conservative whose knowledge of the processes will most certainly propell her political career and be a benefit for all Oklahomans.
During the campaign an issue arose regarding the endorsement from the former senator and leader of the very influential anti tax lobby Tom Corbin. Accusations were used by pollard’s professional campaign strategists meant to derail Denise the night before the election. Pollard’s blatent disregard to ascertain the truth before spreading disinformation displayed more than just a mistake on her part. The freedom of speech as written in the bill of rights has evolved our political campaigns into a dysfunctional game of blurring reality and forcing the citizens to live their lives in a society that cannot engage in political discussions without accepting the propagation of half truths and direct lies as substitution for valid arguments and the truth.
My observations were residing next to my head yesterday when I was informed about the Nike situation…..the tipping point had been reached and the following is a brief discussion of what I feel is not only further dividing our nation but also has an increasingly bizarre strangle hold of the truth
This is my response to a post that was made by my cousin’s husband…
I believe very strongly in freedom of speech.
Lately it seems many people in our country are either taking it for granted, don’t really understand what it means, or in the case of radical leftist groups like antifa completely disagree with it all together.
Believe it or not in Europe ( and obviously other geographical areas ruled by tyrannical regimes) there is a different view of free speech. Our European neighbors have allowed the concept of “hate speech” to slip into their social norms and to the great misfortune/oppression of the common man their legal system as well
(google Tommy Robinson) .
I’ll not go in to great depth but the ironic tale of their lost freedom seems to have originated in Germany after ww2 as a means to completely root out and destroy the Nazis philosophy. It is against the law in Germany and eventually much of Europe to discuss the Nazis history in s positive or historically inquisitive manner. In fact Holocaust denial is viewed by the government as a capital offense. Over time “denial” has expanded to include asking cynical questions or in some cases merely telling a joke. Yes, not only public shaming and the loss of employment but actual jail time for telling a joke. But what’s more important history is being suppress and hidde.
…Vince when I read your post I could not help but think I was in at least partly the cause of your open contemplation. I made this conclusion because yesterday I posted a comment that disparaged both Collin and Nike for their recent partnership.
Although I understand and agree with what you have posted here I also believe as it relates to the opening remarks I have made in response to your observation there is more than a mere subtle nuance of opinion that I would be amiss to not bring to the attention of whoever might be interested.
In specific the issue and or right to kneel during the national anthem.
In my opinion and to the extent allowable by law it is my understanding and belief American citizens have the right to do and should do whatever they feel is appropriate. As you have pointed out this is the land of the free and our protected right to speech is a great example of that title.
The ability to openly discuss ideas not only sets us apart internationally (and historically) this open transfer of knowledge has in many people’s opinion kept our nation the envy of the free world.
However although people have a protected right to express themselves there is no right to be heard or to be right. Similarly a person’s right to speak does not immune them from being judged accordingly.
For example you may feel very strongly about an opinion but the paper has no obligation to print your idea etc. In addition, where a person’s opinion is inval there is no obligation on behalf of others to pretend otherwise. Granted how one chooses to respond in such circumstances is likewise a matter of their choice and could be a matter of avoiding confrontation or offense.
Whatever the case a person’s ability to relate accurate information or simply a strongly felt opinion is protected by law but as I have described so also are the rights of those that might be exposed to the others speech.
Another example is the famous yelling fire in a movie theater or vulgarities. There is then aggressive language that crosses the line of verbal communication and can be considered assault as described by the varying state penal codes.
In brief the first amendment identifies that the state shall make no law that infringe upon the citizens freedom of speech.
In each of the circumstances I have pointed out there is a clear a valid reasoning that demonstrates the application of the first amendment.
There are cases where speech is protected and where people are protected from speech.
I hope I have not gotten to long winded but I do think it is important to understand these things before looking at what is actually taking place in our country today.
To sum up what I am saying essentially just because a person has a right to say or do something what they are saying or doing does not have to be publicly revered and or supported (and sometimes it may also be against the law) but most importantly a person’s opinion or actions are not immune under the law of criticism and or open discussion.
In fact, although a good idea at work or among a person’s peers might be met with adulation and or sometimes promotion it can and obviously does have the opposite effect (as allowable by law). For example, recently the Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas were staging protest at the funerals of military men and women. It was their belief God was punishing our country for allowing homosexuals into the military and essentially normalizing homosexuality. I do not agree with them anymore than agree with people that choose to use a ceremony or stage that is for honoring the men and women that have given ( had taken ) their lives protecting our freedoms.
I’m not sure if the legislature has every managed to get something passed to stop those religious radicals but let’s take a closer look at what happen last year with trump and the NFL.
Although we have the right to stand sit or whatever, we enjoy that right as a private citizen and that right does not extend to a person’s place of employment.
The employer has freedom of speech rights as well and unless the private citizens employment is categorized as contract labor AND provisions of the contract define the employees rights ( and such extend to the issue of freedom of speech in question) then there is no inherent or protected circumstance.
This matter has been resolved in court many times over. There is no expectation to freedom of speech while at work, and in some cases not even away from work. Why? Because the employer is not the state (the state shall make no laws that infringe). And the employer also has freedom of speech and they have the right to represent their business to their needs/satisfaction and the state cannot infringe upon that. None of this should come as a shocker.
If someone does not believe me, go to work today and tell your boss what you really think of them then sit down in protest. The court is not going to get your job back for you. That is extreme, perhaps break the dress code and refuse to conform. Regardless if it is a Obama T-shirt or an American flag, if the employer says no (and there is no contract or disparity in treatment related to race,sex, age etc.), then there is no law that prevents termination.
However as it relates to what trump said, the NFL owners and players could still do whatever they wanted to do without threat the federal governmen firing all the sobs. The asinine outrage hurdled the common virtues signaling and within weeks the entire left leaning population were ready to burn American flags out of pure spite. In no way shape or form did Trump violate the law, however the radical left establishment mangled the issue so grotesquely millions of Americans are now forced to pretend their news source is not absolutely full of shit.
My 0nly advice to them is to take a step back and look at the big picture. Essentially if you support the democrats you are part of the political party that has defiled the national anthem.
If I am at a game and the person next to me kneels during the anthem, their right to kneel does eliminate my right to use my first amendment rights to express my opinion about what they are doing.
If I am not violent or in violation of other laws, In this case it was President Trump who made the very correct observation that the NFL owners can fire players who refuse to stand for the national anthem. The player’s contract specifically state they are required to stand.
Essentially not only was Trump’s assertion correct but he also had every right to say it ( just as much as anyone else and more so in fact than the players who were kneeling…although the players who were kneeling were not breaking the law and to that extent they are in fact free to do as they wish just like when I pointed out a person is free to tell off their boss).
The latter case I have been pointing to is far more critical than these players demanding the right to kneel during the national anthem. For starters along with the help of anti trump news media, Hollywood, and the Democratic Party the argument has been wrongly framed as a person’s right to kneel during the national anthem, when in actuality OUR RIGHTS ARE BEING TAKEN AWAY by the so called “antifa” anti free speech radicals who are equating those that disagree with them to be fascist and Nazis and or white supremacist. These groups specifically acknowledge their purpose is to deny the right to speak if the speaker has opinions contrary to the groups beliefs. They are violent and should be labeled by the government as a terrorist organization.
Conservatives expressing their opinion is met with such animosity and disdain a mere opinion seems to be regarded as hate speech. Imagine one party demanding through a series of Mickey Mouse court rulings that the other party be silenced. Then we are starting to look more like the European countries that have lost their freedom of speech.
The conservative population ought never be physically threatened and persecuted for expressing their opinion. The worst thing that could happen is if people start behaving like their freedom to express their opinion has no restrictions (even work). And that is not unfathomable given the trend for flash mobs to subvert the rule of law with “civil disobedience”
And while some might view even that behavior as with a live and let live attitude It has become an exceedingly dangerous situation here the freedom of speech is being deliberately and unnecessarily blurred with rioting and the blatant disregard to the rights of domestic tranqu0illity and the right to move freely without the threat of physical and verbal abuse/assault.
It is not even safe to wear Trump apparel and that is because trump is not being allowed to express his opinion without it being twisted and the often times wrongly condemned as for example the national anthem issue that is completely bias and rating driven propaganda designed to marginalize support for the opposing party (and quite honestly against the law).