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Letter: Free speech gives us right to say stupid things

The first amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the freedom of speech. That freedom applies to the president of the United States. 

Trump is free to say to people of color: “If you hate our country, if you’re not happy here,” then “go back to where you came from.” You might even say being critical is patriotic.

Sen. Lindsey Graham is free to scream at Democratic women: “You are socialists, communists and haters of our nation.” 

It is also patriotic for U.S. citizens to call out Trump and Graham for acting like children. 

During the 2015 Republican primary, Graham was free to refer to Donald Trump as a “race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot.” And Rep. Ilhan Omar is free to question whether Graham is “compromised,” now that he changed his mind and is fully supportive of Trump.

However, the freedom of speech rule does not mean that people are free from judgment.

Omar is free to make judgments about our leaders, but she needs to be accountable for the words and the attitudes she chooses.

Is a person is free to describe African nations as being “s--hole” countries? Yes, but I do not expect the president of the United States of America to speak of other nations disrespectfully.

I fear what is happening to our country. Where are our priorities? 

Where is the rational conversation about how to slay the monster of global warming? When will we have a logical debate about how to stop a growing national debt from collapsing our economy?

Can our elected congressmen and women start respecting each other enough to pass a new immigration law; pass a responsible budget without the threat of a government shut down; and agree to provide every citizen with affordable health care?

It’s patriotic to have differences. It is also patriotic, in spite of our differences, to respect each other’s humanity.

Calvin King


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