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Saturday, November 24, 2018

It's NOT free speech to yell "FIRE! in a crowded theater if there is no fire.


Way back in 1919, the U. S. Supreme Court with Chief Justice Oliver Wendel Holmes presiding, ruled unanimously that the First Amendment, though it protects freedom of expression, does not protect dangerous speech.

But judging from the dark, defaming, and divisive nature of the political ads that ran during our last election... and the one before that... and the one before that, etc., IT WAS is dangerous time for the us. We seemed to villainize the opponent to vote against rather than to elect the person we think the best, or as a coach might say in a basketball/football press conference after the game, "It may not have been pretty but a win is a win."

Voting "against" someone rather than "for" another has become an accepted practice. Why? Because, statistics show--shame on us--it works. As voters, we are dupes. We have accepted democracy and privilege as something we really don't have to work too hard to keep, because it is "our heritage." OK, but for how long?

"I am   (insert candidate name hereand I approve this message."
Have you noticed that every political ad by a candidate has this message read or said at the end of the ad? In 2002 when Republicans and Democrats could still compete with respect, a bill was passed to "Stand By Your Ad" as part of the bi-partisan Campaign Reform Act. The thought was that no respectable candidate would want to be seen as demonizing his/her opponent, and by endorsing their own ad, gave notice that the candidate actually wanted to say what the ad stated.

Well, the assumption a candidate would be ashamed to be so bashing of another respected opponent was wrong. In politics today, many candidates have proven they have no shame. And thus, Congressional job approval by the people has dropped precipitously from 84% in 2002 to  a ridiculous 20% in 2018. (That's true. Look it up.)

Congress  has lost the credibility of the American people. And that is where we stand today. And if we, as a People, continue to "take the bait," we deserve no more than what we have elected.

Typically, if more than half of us vote in any election, that makes headlines. That means, our future is decided for all of us by the half that vote. And it's even less than that if you figure that only 26 percent of those who vote constitute a voting majority... and in Presidential elections with the Electoral College system, it could be even less than that as it is not always the popular vote that wins.

Just think... our future in the hands of just 25 percent of our population. Sounds pretty unfair, no matter which loosing side you are on. What kind of a legacy are we leaving our children, our future?

Is that the democratic way we are so proud of?  Sadly, it seems to be. It's no wonder we are so divided and angry at one another. In a 1955 movie, The Night of the Hunter, actor Robert Mitchum played a vengeful man. He had his hands tattooed "LOVE/HATE"

This is us today.

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