The Bedrock of Freedom: The Right to Speak Our Minds!

by | May 4, 2024 | Politics | 0 comments

Photo by Josh Sorenson

American Insanity by LeRoy E. Cossette is a keen and insightful book that lays out the current troubles of the United States and provides a hint to its solution: the bedrock of freedom, which is the freedom of speech.

It might seem like the peace of yesteryear has been irreparably broken. A myriad cacophony stretches over today’s complex political landscape, rendering silence however brief like a haven. 

The political divide that is splitting the country in twain is not just the result of mere disagreements that run deep. It is the culmination of a quiet tension that’s been growing for the past centuries. Now, if you log-in to social media: you wind up in a battlefield, where the consequences of voicing an unpopular opinion can lead to isolation. 

Yet, despite the discomfort, there’s a fundamental truth: speaking out about your political views is not just a right. It’s a vital part of a healthy democracy and the bedrock of freedom.

The Right to Speak Our Minds! 

Congress shall make no law […] abridging the freedom of speech […].

– The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights

A core principle of democracy is that government derives its power from the consent of the governed. This means that the government’s authority is not inherent but is granted by the people. 

This concept goes beyond voting every few years. 

The idea of a government by the people, for the people, and of the people means ongoing participation. A constant conversation should always occur between the people and those representing them. 

When citizens stay silent, elected officials lack a clear understanding of public sentiment. They may pursue policies that align with powerful lobbies or their agendas but not necessarily with the will of the people they serve.

Speaking out through public forums, letters to representatives, or even social media discussions (when done respectfully) injects your voice into the political discourse and empowers you. 

Speaking out helps elected officials understand the issues that matter most to their constituents and allows them to make informed decisions that reflect the community’s needs. Speech is the bedrock of freedom!

Shaping the Political Agenda

Politics is, at its heart, a competition of ideas. The issues that receive attention and resources are often those with the loudest voices behind them. If a good chunk of the citizenry keeps silent on a particular issue, it gets pushed down the priority list. 

Speaking out can elevate the issues you care about, sparking public debate and potentially inspiring policy changes.

Consider the history of social movements. From the fight for women’s suffrage to the ongoing battle for racial justice and religious freedoms, progress has often been driven by ordinary people who refused to stay silent.

Their voices, amplified by collective action, forced societal and political systems to confront uncomfortable truths and ultimately enact change.

Holding Power Accountable

No system of government is perfect, and those entrusted with power can sometimes stray from the public good. Apathy in the face of wrongdoing allows corruption and abuse of power to flourish. You hold your representatives accountable by speaking out against policies you believe are unjust or ineffective. 

This doesn’t have to be a dramatic act of defiance. Even voicing concerns to your local newspaper or on social media can send a message and encourage others to do the same. A groundswell of public disapproval can be a powerful check on those in power.

The Bedrock of Freedom 

Of course, simply speaking out isn’t enough. For your voice to be truly impactful, it needs to be heard. This means fostering constructive conversations, even with those who hold opposing views. 

Focus on the issues, not personal attacks. Demonstrating civility and respect, even in disagreement, encourages others to engage in the political process and model productive discourse for the next generation.

Speaking out may seem insignificant on its own, but it is the bedrock of freedom and a healthy government. 

The real power comes when individuals stick together. Even the smallest of us have a role to play when we raise our voices together. 

Remember, fighting for a better future requires ongoing participation, not just silence. So, find your voice, engage in the debate, and shape the world you want to live in.

LeRoy E. Cossette is the author of American Insanity, a comprehensive view of what lies beneath the current political madness of the USA.


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