The United States of America is one of the freest countries in the world. This is no coincidence. America was founded by people with Judeo Christian values, who articulated those values in our founding documents.
In my view, the most important gift from the faith of our founding fathers was the understanding that God gave us free will.
The first amendment in the Bill of Rights lays out perhaps the most important rights an American can have: freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of the press.
No other country except America has a right like this protected in the highest law of the land. You have the right to speak your mind and express yourself how you see fit, as long as you don’t explicitly incite violence against others.
The great thing about this right is that not only you can freely express yourself, it also serves as a useful litmus test to discern what kind of a person someone is.
Last week, Paul Nehlen, a congressional candidate seeking to unseat incumbent (and Speaker of The House) Paul Ryan in Wisconsin, tweeted a lot of Twitter-verified Jews who called him out on his anti-semitic tweets. They included mostly big names in the media, as well as a couple of people who have stated quite clearly that they are not actually Jewish.
I was also on the list.
I actually felt a lot of anger upon reading the tweet. Not only was it bizarre, but it evoked a pretty uncomfortable and not-so-distant past where Jews were put on lists, and it didn’t end well for them. When I thought about my friends and family from Europe, some of them Holocaust survivors, it enraged me to think of where anti-semitism can lead. I felt the urge to verbally attack and report Nehlen, hoping Twitter would close his account.
But after cooling down, and talking with fellow conservatives, I regained my composure and realized that closing the account permanently wouldn’t be the right way to handle it.
Though Twitter is a private company and has the right to police speech, I want to stand by my principles whenever possible, and that includes understanding that hate speech is still free speech. I don’t want to censor it.
When it comes to what would be deemed “hate speech”, a lot of it is due to ignorance, and educating with facts is the key to ending hate. That’s the right and American way to handle it.
The United States is not a dictatorship, or socialistic country, it’s a Democracy and Constitutional Republic: with liberty and justice for all.