Freedom of Speech

There seems to be a grave misunderstanding as to what is protected by the right to freedom of speech in the US amongst both right and left-wing media. That concerns me greatly, as these organizations profess to represent the pinnacle of political news coverage, and such mutilation of a major governing document by a source which claims to be the only right and true word on politics and government is unforgivable.

This is the relevant portion of The United States Bill of Rights:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Too long, didn’t read? Here’s what you need to know, “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.” That’s it, nothing more.

If Congress makes a law to prosecute you for what you say, then you have grounds to complain that your right to free speech is being violated. Until then, if someone is just disagreeing with you, if you are being publicly ridiculed for your words, or even if you are being completely censored by a private group, you have no grounds to invoke such a right.

Freedom of Speech shields US citizens from laws created by the US Government to prosecute them for their words. It does not shield them from the judgement and disagreements of others.