I found this gem of a John Rocker op ed yesterday:
Technically, as our Founding Fathers intended, we are all given the undeniable right to voice our thoughts and opinions freely without fear of scorn and/or ridicule derived from non-agreement.
Technically, bullshit. You have the right to say whatever you like (with a few exceptions, ie bomb threats and the like) without fear of government reprisal. I however, retain the right to disagree with you, ridicule you, treat you scornfully, and call you an idiot.
Our constitutional scholar seems to believe that everyone must agree with everything he says, by virtue of the fact that he said it. If they don’t, they certainly don’t have the right to say so. Freedom of speech means freedom of speech, not freedom from disagreement. But it gets worse! Rocker goes into a “leave Chil-fil-a aloooooooooone!” rant and then just starts contradicting himself (something that the first amendment apparently should prevent him from doing):
Now, the fact that a litany of opinions exists regarding a vast array of socially sensitive topics needs no elaboration. For the good of our nation and to insure that as a society we are always growing and evolving, this must remain an absolute. I fear, however, that absolute is being taken from us and replaced with a media-perpetuated system that is depriving Americans the ability to disagree, debate and evolve.
But I thought we had freedom from disagreement! I’m so confused!
To comprehend why a group would band together at a certain level against an individual or group who does not share the same ideals is to understand basic human nature. To have media and politicos incite such sanctions, however, on the basis of differing opinions, is quite another –and it is these type of consistent efforts that are eroding our first and perhaps most important freedom, one we should all enjoy as Americans.
So, not sharing the “same ideals” with someone is human nature, but having “differing opinions” is a media assault on free speech?
Ok here’s the deal. Chik-fil-a can hate on gay marriage all they want. Everyone else can decide what they think about that, and react accordingly. That’s the whole point. Saying that no one should disagree with them because they’re just poor, downtrodden, conservative, heterosexual white males is just crazy.
A company can take any stance on any issue. Customers who agree will support them, those who don’t will take their business elsewhere.
Freedom of speech does not come with freedom from public opinion.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go try to find examples of this guys columns in which he voices his disagreement with something that someone said.
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