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First Amendment Solutions

Posted in Editorials on January 15th, 2011

I’ve continued to think about President Obama’s words on Wednesday night. I almost didn’t publish my post on continuting to criticize Sarah Palin and Sharon Angle for their refusal to tone down their discourse.

But what we cannot do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on each other.

The First Amendment to the Constitution states

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

These rights are often used together. For example blogging is both freedom of speech and of the press. Religious freedoms are also tied to freedom of speech and the right to assemble.

I saw Amanda use the phrase “First Amendment Solutions” and thought it was brilliant. Not only as a rebuttal to Ms Angle but as an update to the slogan that “the solution to bad speech is better speech.” And so I’m going to try an use that phrase more often. Whether it’s Rebecca Drysdale’s awesome new video for the “It Gets Better Project” or Speaker of the House John Boehner following in Nancy Pelosi’s email addresss by setting up a direct email address – let’s call out these First Amendment Solutions where we see them for the positive attention they deserve.

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