Content submitted by Kathy Lynch. Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views of WestfordCAT or its Board of Directors. If you would like to submit a letter to the editor, email [email protected]
The founding document that codifies our free country is the Constitution of the United States of America. It is what all of our elected government officials take an oath to protect. The first 10 Amendments to the Constitution (i.e., Bill of Rights), confirm the fundamental rights of American citizens. Amendment 1 reads, “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.” I’ll focus on the emphasized text above regarding speech and press.
Are you concerned that what you say may not be considered “politically correct”? Will what you say be deemed “racist,” “homophobic,” “sexist,” “Islamophobic”? If you answered, “Yes,” then you are experiencing speech suppression — exactly what the First Amendment was written to protect you from. Essentially, political correctness squelches freedom. It is a weapon of oppression used by those in power who wish to control the narrative. Political correctness promotes what author, George Orwell, called “groupthink.” As long as you go along with what the majority thinks, you are “right” and safe from persecution.
Controlling speech by name-calling or otherwise persecuting the minority discourages diversity of thought — a hallmark of our culture that has contributed to a free citizenry. Controlling speech shuts down attempts at rational discourse. Let’s hold firm to the First Amendment. What’s more, let us elect a candidate in November who understands the principles of the First Amendment as essential to a free and exceptional country.
Kathy Lynch, Westford, Massachusetts