Apparently, there are limits to free speech. They say you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater. Well, I guess you can, but you would be held accountable for the consequences.
Last week Donald Trump did the equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theater. He whipped up his supporters by telling them the election was stolen and telling them to go to the capitol to air their grievances. He had earlier tweeted for them to come to D.C. because it was going to be “wild”. Well, it was wild. The mob stormed the capitol, over-ran the police, smashed doors, windows and furniture, breeched the interior, yelled to hang Mike Pence, and tried to find Nancy Pelosi. All in the name of America, or their version of it.
Trump is ripped because twitter has locked him out. His son claims this violates his free speech rights. No, it doesn’t. He can talk all he wants–he just can’t post incendiary memes that incite violence on a private platform. Boo-hoo.
Now the House is considering impeachment—again. The charge is inciting insurrection. A week before he’s scheduled to leave office anyway, they want him out, either by the 25th Amendment, impeachment and removal which would require senate agreement, or resignation. I think it is unlikely he’ll leave before the clock runs out. Who knows what mischief he can still invoke over the next few days?
Freedom of speech is a great thing. I can lie, exaggerate, spread rumors, and generally do anything I want with my constitutionally protected First Amendment right. Anything, that is, except incite violence. I’m grateful for the leeway to express my opinions. Or, as that bard Bob Dylan once sang: “Me, I romp and stomp, ever grateful while I romp, without freedom of speech we might be in the swamp.”