Perhaps the most unpopular form of political expression possible would be to set fire to the American Flag. Anyone doing this immediately and irrevocably identifies themself as a total idiot who is unworthy of the freedoms secured on their behalf by so many who fought under that same flag.
But the idea that Congress should enact criminal sanctions to punish those who might do this is nonsense. Idiots can and do burn our flag, and in no way harm the ideals that flag represents our our reverence of those ideals or the flag which represents them. As with all free expression, those who speak are held accountable by public opinion for their expression, which is all the sanction our nation will ever need for responsible, and irresponsible expression. Self-identification as a fool and the resulting public reaction is entirely sufficient.
And to those who feel observing such a display is too offensive, I remind you that there is no guarantee political expression will not be. You are not protected from being offfended by the speech or expression of others, nor should you ever be in this country. This is not the place to begin to enforce control ensuring politically correct public expression.
Let’s hope the Senate understands this today.
UPDATE: enough of them did, and the Senate rejected this legislation. It’ll likely be back, unfortunately.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.
You can follow the discussion through the Comments feed.