Stifling Political Free Speech

Stifling Political Free Speech

( – In the wake of the January 6 incident on Capitol Hill, Democrats and a few Republicans went beyond condemning the horrifying moments that gripped the nation. Instead of asking for calm and peaceful protests, they escalated the rhetoric. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the first time in American history.

On January 11, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued a statement accusing the President of the United States, Donald Trump, of creating an “insurrection” aimed at the “heart of our democracy.” In an unsurprising tone, she accused him of behavior contributing to “unhinged, unstable, and deranged acts of sedition…” In the days that would follow, “insurrection” and “sedition” became the chosen daily words as she argued directly out of Article III, Section 3 of the US Constitution that Republicans were giving “aid and comfort” to liars and rioters.

Why Did Pelosi and Democrats Choose “Sedition?”

In America’s earliest day, sedition was the worst kind of evil that one could commit against the new country. It was equal to treason but worse. The reality was that the word only existed to label political opponents with one simple aim:

Stifling political free speech.

In 1798, President John Adams signed the Sedition Act of 1798 after Federalists in Congress passed the controversial law. Its singular purpose was to stifle political debate until the next election. Ultimately, it created the first actual controversy about the First Amendment and free speech. The Sedition Act made it illegal to “write, print, utter or publish…any false, scandalous and malicious writing…with intent to defame the…government” or “to stir up sedition within the United States.”

In a blind rage to silence their opponents, the Federalists tried unsuccessfully to argue that the Sedition Act expanded civil liberties by forcing political opponents, the media, and the public only to tell the “truth.” However, the questions were: whose truth, and by what measure was truth objective? The administration determined the truth, and anyone who spoke against it was accused of breaking the law by not speaking “truthfully.”

In the election of 1800, voters objected to the prosecutions and convictions obtained under the Constitutionally-questionable law. It ended the Federalists Party forever, and President Thomas Jefferson pardoned all who were convicted under the law.

Democrats Repeating the Mistake of the Past

Political free speech is a Constitutionally-guaranteed right in America. Unfortunately, Democrats use big words to try and intimidate and silence their opposition. They are openly trying to improperly silence Congress members who believed that critical problems existed in the 2020 election and therefore objected to the Electoral College results. It’s nothing Democrats haven’t done before. In fact, some of the people who objected to the Electoral College in 2016 are arguing against the same thing in 2020.

It’s pure partisan political theater.

Unfortunately, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) are at the forefront of the attempt to silence America. If Pelosi and leading Democrats can threaten and silence those who can protect themselves, such as two powerful Senators, what might they do to the uninformed public to silence individual Americans who have little power?

No one’s Constitutional right to peacefully question the government should be stifled. Nor should the Constitution be weaponized against political opponents in an attempt to silence their free speech as guaranteed in that same Constitution.

Perhaps in 2022, voters will remember Democrats attempted to repeat the suppressive Federalist actions of 1798, and they will remove them properly and peacefully through the electoral process — as voters did in the election of 1800.

Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst

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