The article just came across my newsfeed. The Free Beacon reports that a poll reports that a majority of Americans want to see the First Amendment to the United States Constitution rewritten. ” More than 60 percent of Americans agree on restricting speech in some way, while a slim majority, 51 percent, want to see the First Amendment rewritten to ‘reflect the cultural norms of today.’ “
Please use the barf bag and don’t throw up on the computer keyboard. Yeah, it makes me sick, too. The article gets worse, going on to talk about how the 1004 respondents to the poll (apparently a scientific one and not a voluntary internet one) want to do even more. Restrictions and jail time for hate speech and limits on the freedom of the press jumped out at me.
A majority of Americans want to modify – restrict and limit – a fundamental freedom that Americans have recognized for more than two and a quarter centuries. And enjoyed for far longer than that. And the younger generations are MORE opposed to the freedoms protected by the First Amendment.
Which is of course, very similar to the view of too many Americans regarding the Second and other Amendments and the liberties recognized there. Indeed, polls (scientific and not) show that a majority of Americans are against MOST of these freedoms to some degree.
That is, sadly, nothing new. And one more reason to fear a “democracy.” At virtually any point in time, you can create a majority or plurality of the voting population who each may have different reasons to jettison some fundamental right. Even though their reasons may be in total opposition to each other. Stupid? Absolutely. But a reality we have to deal with.
That, and misunderstanding. The survey was done by the organization CampaignForFreeSpeech.org. But at least one idiot in the media (WTAM talk show guy) is attacking the Campaign, claiming that THEY are the ones trying to rewrite the First Amendment.
I admit, 1004 people is a pretty small sample, no matter how scientifically you conduct the poll. But it is still a worry. Of course, other organizations have found different results. The Freedom Forum Institute, for instance, says that their 2019 survey shows on 29% think that the First Amendment “goes too far.”
It is important, however, to recognize that many – perhaps most – Americans are opposed to some liberties. Liberties for which men and women have died and killed to establish, restore, and protect. Liberties that government was supposed to protect and has failed to do so, more and more often.
Enough is enough. Democracy and liberty are natural enemies, and the human desire to control others is a major reason.