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Use your right to free speech

Use your right to free speech

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Last summer I sensed impending crisis in the media, tech and ultimately free speech.

It appeared no matter who wins various elections this crisis was imminent. Even still, many are horrified at how quickly it has happened. It's imperative that we fight the asymmetrical censorship of ideas, thoughts, speech and demonstration.

Like nearly all Americans, we vehemently oppose violence of all kinds. But, censoring certain voices over others will only increase the likelihood of more violence, not decrease.

When children don't feel heard they get louder and if still not feeling heard they act out. A form of acting out occurred during the BLM protests and most recently with the Stop the Steal protests. Unlike BLM, conservatives feel they have been stripped of their ability to lodge complaint, discuss, defend or otherwise debate in the public square. This feeling of being silenced only increases anger, suspicion, distrust and helplessness.

Talking things out in the public square has been a way for people to de-escalate discord.

As some have said before, there's a cost to free speech. Until the last years, individuals have been able to sort through information and decide what is true and what is not. Our freedoms and democracy are in the hands of only a few gigantic politically motivated media and tech companies. Presently, it appears to many that they and the ruling class are one in the same.

Starting today, I urge you to respectfully and humbly express your thoughts to your friends and neighbors and maybe a larger audience no matter your views. We must use our right to free speech while we still can.

— Beau McLean, Stevensville

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