Through the ages, many people in this country sacrificed so much so that we could have freedom—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We live in the greatest country in the world. Yes, I believe in American exceptionalism. This belief that the United States is unique from all other countries was something that I’ve grown up knowing. When she was thirteen, my mother came with her family to the U.S. from Holland. My mother and her family were looking for a new beginning—the American Dream—and they found that here in America. My husband’s family is from Italy. They came here to America for the same reasons.
Freedom of Speech Should be Honored and Respected
We all have the right to freedom of speech—the right to say what we want to say and express our point of view without being censored by anyone, including the Government. However, when you express your opinion you need to label it as such and not as fact. On the flip side of the coin, if you slander someone, you speak something that you know to be false and you consciously intend to bring harm to this person by your words. With libel, you’re speaking these falsehoods and present them as facts.
This can cause major issues. First of all, we all have the right to say what we want to say, but we need to control our speech so that we don’t hurt someone else or say false things about him or her. Now, this issue occurs on all levels of society, whether you’re famous or not so famous or no one but your family and friends know your name. We don’t usually hear when these issues happen, unless it occurs with famous or more well-known people. Now when celebrities speak their minds and get into the political scene, they each have the right to say whatever they want, as long as falsehoods against someone aren’t said.
When celebrities give their own opinions in support of political candidates are you positively or negatively affected in your own opinion of which candidate you should vote for? For me, I’m not affected in any way by celebrity opinions, but rather I focus on the issues and what the candidate stands for politically. However, I think it is great when celebrities voice their opinions on which candidate they are endorsing. So many people see these celebrities as role models and when the celebrities voice their opinions, without libeling others, that’s awesome—and I applaud them.
During the Last Election Cycle
However, sometimes celebrities as well as fans and political pundits take things a little too far and start bashing each other over different political point of views. For example, during the last election cycle Stacey Dash—most well-known for her role in the movie Clueless—was mercilessly criticized online for her tweets in support of Mitt Romney for President. She had her right to speak freely and give her own political opinion on what she thinks is best for America’s future.
The people who criticized had the right to give their own opinions, but there seems to be a fine line in our civilized society on how we speak to one another. There is a civilized way to disagree and share differing opinions. In our current society, we’ve become desensitized towards uncivil treatment of each other. Vivica A. Fox had words to say about the swimsuit photo Stacey Dash wore in a photo promoting her endorsement of Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. For more on this: Vivica A. Fox Blasts Stacey Dash.
The Aftermath of Our Current Election Cycle
During this current election cycle and even after this Tuesday’s Election Day, we’ve seen our country torn in two by opposing political views, which has turned to riots in the name of freedom of speech. I’m all for abiding by our rights to speak our mind. However, there comes a point when we all need to take a step back and realize how powerful our words are. Even more powerful are our actions. When riots and violence are a result of speaking freely, that is not beneficial to anyone in our society.
Let’s all take that step back and consider how our words and actions will affect others. For those who feel the need to take to the streets in protest, I applaud you. However, I also urge you to consider the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man it wields. It is a sword that heals.” Let’s pray to God for healing in our great country today!