Saturday, December 16, 2006

Back to Newty and the First Amendment...

I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago detailing former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich's argument that the government needs to curb free speech to protect Americans from the threat of terrorism. Apparently, he has a response to the sharp rebuke that followed his comments.

His response argues that free speech restrictions are necessary to protect the country that makes the First Amendment possible, and that people like the "ACLU left" is flat wrong on the issue. Before digging into other aspects of his retort, you have to consider the logic of this statement from the perspective of our society and the Constitution. We have an unfettered right to free speech. To limit that liberty means the end of free speech, and to some extent, the end of the society that created it. Mr. Gingrich would rather destroy protections and policies of this union to protect it. Logically, this means what he wishes to protect will no longer exist. What, then, is the point? It's not just the "leftists" or "liberals" who should have a problem with this kind of proposition, it is the true ideological conservatives like the libertarians. For someone to consider a libertarian liberally minded would show that the so-called conservatives have drifted so far to the right that they are beyond conservatism and become fascists. Neo-conservatives are not, by any interpretation, conservative. Liberals want to change the status quo while conservatives want to retain the status quo. Mr. Gingrich, and fellow neo-conservatives who share his beliefs, wish to push this country away from the rights protected by the Constitution, truly advocating liberalism.

As far as the rest of his comments are concerned...

"If you give me any signal in the age of terrorism that you're a terrorist, I'd say the burden of proof was on you"

One of the other great benefits of American citizenship is the right to trial by jury and the presumption of innocence. While I appreciate some of the policies he supports like energy independence and supporting scientific research, I am far from interested in sacrificing the protections of the Bill of Rights.

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