The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Gene Policinski
First Amendment Center President and Executive Director 

Civility: Let's try that free-speech option in public life

Guest Commentary

 


The First Amendment protects our freedom to say and write just about anything we want — but that doesn’t mean we ought to, particularly in public life.

The difference rests between “can” and “should.”

Our nation’s Founders were no strangers to rude, callous and raucous debate in public life and to vicious commentary, even by today’s “anything goes” online standards. Sex scandals, infidelity, personal weaknesses and even religious differences were exposed, debated and mocked in public life and in the newspapers of the day with personal glee and political purpose.

The self-governing system eventually created for the United States depends on vigorous public involvement an...



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