I get up this morning and I’m greeted by a news story on the radio about Ted Cruz making an unfortunate campaign stop in the Bronx. A man named Rebel Diaz yelled, “He is anti-immigrant. He denies climate change. He’s a right-winged bigot and he’s not welcomed here.” Wow.
I’m an artist and writer. The freedom to create work that may express a certain viewpoint is critical to me as it should be to all Americans. Expressing one’s opinions is part of the social discourse of our lives. Without this, we simply lose an entire part of who we are as individuals. Mr. Diaz has a right to his opinion and a right to express it in a peaceful manner. So does Ted Cruz. You may not like what Mr. Cruz has to say but vitriol is never a proper response. Respectful discourse is at the core of what we Americans are.
We as individuals must respect the views of others. We don’t have to be open to listening but we must act with respect. I think so many of us use our loud voice so we don’t have to truly listen to another’s views. I mean listening is dangerous because if you really listen and seek to understand (not agree) to another person’s feelings, thoughts, ideas you might find that you have to rethink your own views and maybe, just maybe change them.
For those who don’t know here is the first amendment to the constitution of the United 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.
No where in this amendment does it say I have the right to scream and disrupt public assembly. What it does say is that we have the right to assemble as a group to protest and give voice to our political beliefs but it must be done peaceably.
You don’t need a law degree to understand the constitution. It’s very plain. For instance, like it or not, the second amendment says we the people have the right to keep a well regulated militia as well as a right to keep and bear arms. Don’t shoot (pun intended) the messenger.
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
Agree or not this amendment guarantees two things. #1 we can maintain a well regulated militia (army) and #2 we as individuals have a right to have a gun and use it when needed as long as its use isn’t in violation of the law meaning the commission of a crime. What it doesn’t say is that individual states have the right to control my ability to do so.
As an artist I feel all of the rights guaranteed in the constitution must be protected. I may not like it but when you chip away at one part you chip away at the whole. No good comes from that.
Remember our Declaration of Independence says –
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
What that means is we the people are in control not our government. Remember that we fought a war to gain relief from oppression by England.
I’m just sayin’