While researching various human rights atrocities happening around the world–and considering the past–the importance of speech freedom arose to the forefront of my mind. Yet, what is there to stop such oppression from occurring in the US? Speech freedom is guaranteed indeed, it’s explicitly written in the U.S. Constitution. Furthermore, the constitution is the highest law in the US. So, it supercedes any state or local law. However, what if governing officials choose not to follow the written law. Their paid job is enforcing the law, yet individuals might do a bad or even criminal job.
I propose a change in the US legal system to better guard against such criminal government officials. There could be separate law enforcement agency to monitor if officials are actually following freedom of speech. If they are not following the constitution they swore to uphold in their governing activities, they would be held criminally accountable. Perhaps the penalty should be one-year imprisonment or possibly, also the loss of their job? While this wouldn’t guarantee freedom from corrupt, criminal officials; it might act as a deterrent. It’s accurate to say the freedom of speech enforcement agency could also be corrupted. A lawmaker would be less likely to dare making a speech-inhibiting law. A judge would be more likely to rule in favor of the constitution. A cop would have less question weather speech is protected. The weight of jail sentence on a lawmaker, judge, or cop might effectively deter them from criminal behaviors. Under this system, two separate sets of police and judges would have to be corrupted for freedom of speech to fade from reality. It also would clarify the importance of the written law to the first set of officials. But why is freedom of speech so important? One reason is if people have no other way to express their ideas, they are left with violent means. The government then might very well commit violence on the people trying to violently overthrow the government. Even initially, when police are enforcing silence, it’s through the use of force. To suppress freedom of speech is to promote a cycle of violence in the long run.
Another reason is it allows people to criticize the government, or a person, who might be wrong. It also allows for the promotion of ideas, which could be better. So, it allows for a society that can improve, and that can peaceably change to adjust over time. Ideas, which could be better, are at least given a chance for discussion. Speech freedom allows for a free market of ideas. Fundamental to change happening among a group of people is it must be communicated. Otherwise, people would have to telepathically communicate to coordinate action that is not a human capability. I even wonder if uninhibited speech creates a psychological change in a human making them more creative more willing to form new ideas. To Nikos Pasto’s the recent sniping dead of 80 protestors in Ukraine is proof if non-free government doesn’t like what you say they might blow off your head.