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How The Right Is Manipulating The Free Speech Debate To Gain Exposure

(Image by FEMA/Bill Koplitz via Wikimedia Commons) Freedom of speech is one of the cornerstones of a democratic society. The Founding Fathers of the United States felt that their experiment in self-government would not succeed if the citizens were not free to express themselves, to exchange ideas, and to criticize the politicians they elected. They therefore enshrined the principle of free speech in the First Amendment , which states that: " 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. " In recent years, however, the right has been using the free speech argument for a different purpose: to gain exposure and conquer public space at the expense of their political opponents. The mastery of the rhetorical tactic of moral equivalence has