Skip to comments.Free speech, or free speech zones?
Posted on 08/04/2009 8:48:15 AM PDT by La Lydia
Frank Benenati, regional press secretary for the Democratic National Committee, is circulating a memo by e-mail about strategies right-wing groups are using to "harass" Democratic members of Congress as they talk about health care and energy policy...
Right-Wing Harassment Strategy Against Dems Detailed In Memo: 'Yell,' 'Stand Up And Shout Out,' 'Rattle Him'
Politico reported that Democratic members of Congress are increasingly being harassed by "angry, sign-carrying mobs and disruptive behavior" at local town halls...
Part of me wonders if this reported tactic isn't a facet of plain, old-fashioned free speech. Don't these groups have a right to show up with as many of their cohorts as they can muster to shout their opposition to something they believe is bad policy? Since when do politicians have a right to be shielded from dissent? We're living in an age when politicians of virtually every shade of red, blue and everything in between want to control the information presented to the public, whether by sending paid lobbyists to shout at a town hall meeting or by locking the opposition out of political forums and events. Sometimes they do it by making conflicting statements to different audiences and then blaming the media when their constituents demand a straight answer.
Can democracy function when all we get is political leaders preaching only to their faithful?... As a journalist, I'm bothered that information is being manipulated and I'll think twice about who I'm quoting at any kind of public political meeting. But I'm equally bothered by this trend embraced by so many in the political sphere that the solution to speech they don't like or don't want to hear is to suppress it. Wasn't there a time we were supposed to believe that more speech was the answer?
What do you think?
(Excerpt) Read more at tri-cityherald.com ...
Don’t worry the FR made fun of protestors and that were put in cages and free speech zones.
It comes full circle in 2012, when R’s are put in cages and laughed at by the D’s.
You can’t have it both ways. You gotta draw a line in the sand and actually believe in something, even if you disagree with the other group.
A caged- area designated for organized protests appears enclosed by mesh and chain link fencing near the site of the upcoming Democratic National Convention, in Boston,
Of course this is a result of free speech. On the other hand this sort of behavior can backfire. We didn’t like it when leftists did it and swayed a large part of the middle along with us. What makes you think those people we swayed will suddenly start eating this stuff up just because it’s us doing it now? I attend citizen meetings with my reps - state and federal. I know I won’t like it if I can’t ask my serious and carefully considered questions because other people are yelling, disrupting, and generally being overly-aggressive annoyances.
I think you’re lost.
*shrug* I think it’s a warning that these things can go to far. Do we really want to be the next Code Pink?
so are you saying there should be free speech zones?
Spoken like a subject.
“free speech zones” automatically create no speech zones in direct and blatent conflict with the constitution.
Civility first. But if it is not responded to in kind, then people have a tendency to become frustrated and tension escalates.
“free speech zones automatically create no speech zones in direct and blatent conflict with the constitution.”
But I think the point has been made, rightly, that there were many around here who had no problem when it was the lefties being shuffled off into “free speech zones” during the Bush Years.
I’m not among those who was OK with it during the Bush years or even when they started during the Clinton years.
A crucial difference one that I think is very subtle yet vital is whether the yelling is being done by a FEW of the people on hand or by MOST of those present.
If somebody tries to ask a question but a handful of howling yahoos make that impossible, that’s one thing. That’s discourteous, rude and unfair. Arrest those bozos and make sure they trip going up the stairs to the lockup.
But if the MAJORITY of the people start yelling, then the only ones offended are the whores (or Dems, same thing) up on the stage. They can yelp about disrespect and unfairness, but that is Vox Populi in action. No problem!
What I want to see is some Congresscritter with enough stones to get up on stage knowing there WILL be a lot of angry citizens in the hall. Tell his bodyguards to stand down then let Representative Foghorn meet the people, angry or no. And ignore that fellow in the back row with that coil of rope ...