Free Speech?

Freedom of speech is one of the most important principles of our democracy – it’s so important that Americans’ right to free speech was enshrined in the very first amendment to our Constitution. However, while the bankers and attorneys running our country have usually been careful to follow the letter of the law, the spirit of our Constitution has been ground into the dust by decades’ of media monopolies and corporate control.

When founding father James Madison wrote the Bill of Rights, he knew it was important to keep Congress from making any laws that would restrict the right of citizens to speak and communicate with each other about the issues of the day. However, none of the founding fathers could have anticipated the situation we would find ourselves in, here in the 21st century. Americans no longer gather in the town square or at a courthouse to discuss and debate the important issues. Instead, we have the agenda dictated to us by the government and the media.

It is a simple fact that the vast majority of Americans get their information from a few main news sources. It is also no secret that American news media are all owned by various large corporations – the same corporations that fund the campaigns of the Democratic and Republican politicians on both the state and federal levels. Is it any surprise that the bankers and attorneys who control both the politicians and the news media restrict the discussion to topics that will benefit them?

When I first decided to run as a candidate in the 2012 Presidential election, I found myself blocked at every turn by the efforts of the mainstream media. I was repeatedly told that the media had no obligation to report on my campaign. One reporter personally told me that he was forbidden by his management from reporting on any independent candidates, because that would be “giving aid” to an independent political campaign. The media clearly had no such restrictions on reporting on the campaigns of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. I was denied my right to inform my fellow citizens about my candidacy, despite the fact that an alternate choice in a Presidential election is worth at least a brief discussion.

Now, I know that people would say my freedom of speech has not been restricted – the argument is frequently made that freedom of speech is not a guarantee that anyone will listen to what we have to say. However, we live in an age in which the lines of communication are entirely controlled by the exact same group of people who fund the campaigns of our political candidates. Is it any wonder that the news media refuses to report any information that is not in the interests of their corporate masters? After all, they have made sizable investments in their political candidates, and all of the money and influence will go to waste if their candidates are not elected.

We Americans have allowed a system to develop in which all but a chosen few of us have been denied a voice. The elites of our country have decided that picking between the two pre-selected options they have chosen for us is all the democracy we need, and the rest of us are denied the opportunity to participate in any meaningful way, let alone challenge the status quo. With the news media acting as gatekeepers, actively refusing to report on and bring attention to anything that might threaten this system, Americans’ free speech, our ability to discuss ideas and make informed decisions for ourselves, is seriously under threat.

If a man speaks in a forest, and there is no one to hear, does he make a sound? A person without the right to be heard can only be said to have the right to free speech in the same way that a starving person can be said to have the right to live but not the right to eat. Without food, the starving person will die, despite a right to continue living. Similarly, a person without the right to be heard has been effectively silenced, no matter how much we like to believe we have free speech.

In 2016, join me in changing this system. We can create an America where all of our voices can be heard. Cast your write-in vote for Art Drew for President of the United States.