Free Speech: All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

I reflect back on Hillary Clinton’s gaffe, in my opinion, committed on September 9th when she said that at least half of Donald Trump’s supporters belonged in a “basket of deplorables”.  She then went on to describe those of us she was including as “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and Islamaphobic”.  I might’ve encouraged her to add another category: those of us who were Hillaryphobic and/or Clintonphobic, but I digress.

Had there been limits on ‘free speech’ she might’ve not been able to cram both feet into her mouth simultaneously. Although, that is a fairly large mouth as I think about it.  She managed to cause at least 50% of us Trump supporters to rightfully conclude we were backing the right person when she used the ‘right to speak freely’ about what was on her mind.  That proved to have been part of her problem; part of the reason she was not elected.

I might re-categorize those of us who were Trump supporters as a “basket of adorables” for the good we did for our country on this past election day.  We saved this country from another eight years of a Clinton-driven White House.  Imagine how great a treasure trove her private e-mail server would’ve been for whoever wanted it since it was essentially standing there unprotected if she ran the White House as she did the State Department, but I digress yet again.

Back to ‘free speech’.  It is anything but free.  A huge price has collectively been extracted over the centuries for this right of each of us Americans to speak our minds without fear of arrest or recourse unless, of course, we are inciting a riot or are engaged in some other such activity.  We are free to say what we wish to say for the very most part.  It is up to each of us to predetermine what that might accomplish…or what price we might pay for exercising that right.

We actually pay a price anytime we open our mouth in speech, or write a blog for that matter.  We pay the price of offending someone or many someones with what we say or write.  It is, obviously, better to have thought about what we are saying or writing than to have simply rattled it off without conscious thought.  The times I wish I had given something more thought are almost always those times when something flashes into my mind and I say it or write it without any further thought.

Politicians are especially prone to this since they often find themselves expressing a position or thought extemporaneously.  This is probably a good part of campaigns since we get the chance to see these people under pressure which is what they’ll be under once in office.  We now have almost real-time exposure given the speed with which their words can reach us.  Our President-Elect is a Tweeter.  That gives us short exposures to whatever made him Tweet and at whatever times he might be awake.

All this ‘free’ speech is also flying around the world at blinding speed and is consumed by our country’s friends and its enemies almost as those words were uttered or typed.  If we are to have issues with our soon-to-be President, it might be that he is prone to talking or Tweeting before he has given the subject more than knee-jerk thought/reaction.  I suspect that his ‘handlers’ will be ever-cognizant and ever-mindful of that propensity.  This, if properly managed and directed, might also be a real gift to our country and its position in the real world.

Last but by no means least is this silly recount stuff going on.  The Clinton team has stated it will be involved with the Green Party’s recount activity in three states.  My own state is one of those three and I have worked elections and have a feel for what hanky-panky might be possible.  Virtually no hanky panky is possible except for illegal voters foisted on the system by a well-known political party that lost the most recent Presidential race.  This is another example of the use of our freedoms which might be better thought before the user opens his or her mouth to utter some foolishness such as the Green Party seeking a recount when they could double their vote total and still be laughably short of any office from dog catcher on up the scale.

Note also the speed with which Hillary and Company jumped up to be a part of this travesty.  This is but another example of an ill-thought strategy that will simply add to the already sordid history Hillary Clinton brings to any party she attends.  The only hope on their part is that this drags out long enough to open the possibility of some shenanigans with the outcome of this election that might somehow auger in Hillary’s favor.  That would be Congress deciding to overturn the election results as it rewards Electoral College votes.  If that were to occur, we would be in instant anarchy.  Such is what these folks think of our country.  This action alone ought to be sufficient for the rest of us to reaffirm our original vote that produced a President-Elect Donald Trump who won the Electoral College votes even though Hillary gathered more individual votes.  He won.  Get over it!

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