Sunday, May 16, 2010

Constitutional first amendment rights & privileges for the common American

Americans are truly blessed to live in the United States. The first amendment really rings true to me. I bet most people don't even know what it is and how important it is.

The first amendment in a nutshell:
Freedom of the press. Freedom of speech. The right of the people peaceably to assemble. The right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. The right of the government to not establish a religion and therefore separate religion from the government.

Do United States citizens realize how amazing it is they can attend a peaceful rally and frantically wave signs at the people with the opposing viewpoints? Do United States citizens realize just how lucky they are to be able to write something down, let's say, something critical of the government, and not be thrown in jail?

Scholars and judges have trouble studying the first amendment because its short simplicity makes it extremely open to interpretation. However, it's wonderful it exists.

Here in the United States, words can hold power and the writer doesn't have to fear for his or her freedom. People abuse this system by plagarizing or using their words to attack others too harshly. But overall, it's a beautiful idea.

However, people in general shouldn't abuse the powers granted to us hundreds of years ago, via the Constitution. Just because we have freedom of speech (which also extends to the unwritten law of freedom of expression), it does not mean it's okay to bash any one person, i.e. President Obama, for instance.

Recently enough, Obama simply made a health care analogy saying it is alright if the government expands toward helping people afford health care if they need help and that private companies can still compete with it. The analogy he made simply said that the U.S. government can still compete with the private health insurance companes, just like Fedex and UPS compete with the United States Post Office. I believe people referred to it as his Post Office comment.

I read a story by a syndicated columnist published in the Coast News newspaper of San Diego County regarding Obama's metaphor. The columnist completely and obviously doesn't know what an analogy is and took Obama's words out of context. He seemed to be upset that Obama said anything about the U.S.P.S. and went on to talk about the post office's decision to reduce staff hours, etcetera. The columnist tied two unrelated ideas together. It wasn't a bad story. It just didn't make sense. Obama's health care comment/analogy he made had nothing to do with the post office or its decision to reduce staff hours in the near future. The writer's tone was tense.

I'm not mad, I'm just amazed how so-called professional journalists and private writers take things out of context all the time.

The almighty pen (or the computarized "pen") is used too much in negative ways nowadays. I hope United States citizens stop criticizing unnecessarily and start thinking before lashing out verbally.

This won't ever stop, because it is human nature to attack and accuse everyone and everything. However, people need not to abuse the first amendment more than it already is abused.

Carpe Diem. Sieze the day. Don't attack.

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