IT’S LEGAL TO BE A MORON – CLARIFYING THE 1ST AMENDMENT

1st amendment cartoonThe first amendment says you can say, write, or publish whatever you want without fear of being arrested, shot, imprisoned, or otherwise legally penalized. On television, the internet, as film or in print. From your mouth or on your blog, even if what you are saying is incredibly stupid, baseless, and factually incorrect. Even if it offends everyone who reads or hears it. As an American, being a loudmouthed jerk is constitutionally protected.

However. The first amendment does not say you are required to utter, write, film, broadcast, or publish whatever idiocy crosses your mind. Just because you can does not mean you should. The Constitution protects your right to be a moron. It does not mandate you actually behave like one.

Those are your rights. My rights include the right to ignore you.

A right is no substitute for using your brains.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all of us!

24 thoughts on “IT’S LEGAL TO BE A MORON – CLARIFYING THE 1ST AMENDMENT”

  1. Truth. And publishing online means that you are now held accountable for whatever you say, on a global scale and for a VERY long time, That should be a consideration whatever platform you’re on, whether it’s Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress, Facebook or anywhere else.

    I wish more people would learn this lesson. It’s important for businesses to know, as well as individuals. I’ve read stories where students were denied admission to college based on their Facebook pages, as well as job hunters who were not hired due to their “digital dirt”.

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    1. I have written about this, talked about it with people, warned people about it. Too many people think their comments and rants on social media (or for that matter, their own blogs) are transitory. Who will remember? More people than they think … and there is nothing transitory about cyberspace.

      People mostly just don’t GET it. My granddaughter got it, though. She is SO paranoid now, she changes her identity on Facebook as often as every couple of days. Including her name. I can’t track her. She won’t keep the same email address for more than a few weeks, either. I suppose a hacker might figure her out, but I’ve given up. She’s applying to colleges this year — now, actually — and no one’s going to catch HER. Maybe she’s a bit over the top, but I suppose that’s better than the alternative.

      I find old writing of mine lying around the cyber-world. Stuff I wrote ten or more years ago, some of which makes me wince. If I can find it, anyone determined to dig it out can too. Glad I’m not trying to enter college these days!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. True, but if you are a good searcher and know how to use key words and wild cards (and you know what you are looking for), it’s amazing how much stuff you can find. Sometimes I’m shocked both at how much I find and how little other people find. They don’t understand how to use keywords. I would blog about it, but it’s really boring … though it can have fascinating results.

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    1. Yup, we can ignore them. We can’t kill them, force them to shut up, or make them stop being assholes. But we CAN ignore them and if more of us would do that, stop giving them the attention they want, they might actually shut up on their own. We can hope, anyway 🙂

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      1. I used to explain to my students that they could say whatever they wanted but that didn’t oblige me to listen or, if I did, to like what they said or even take them seriously. It was amazing how ruffled they could get from that! What a riot.

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    1. Oh, you mean like worrying about whether or not they will offend others? Like … civility? That’s so old fashioned. We don’t do good manners any more. This is the “screw you” era when everyone does what they feel like doing and damn the casualties.

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