Public Policy #3
The First Amendment, like the rest of the constitution, is there to protect the people from the government. The first right protected by the First Amendment is the freedom of religion. The freedom of religion is a very important freedom, it is the most important part of the pursuit of happiness for many people. The other freedoms protected by the First Amendment are also important, they are the rights of free speech, the freedom of the press, the freedom to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. These rights are protected because they are all essential to self-government.
The freedom of speech allows for public debate of political issues. This is a very important right because it allows people to share their views and criticize the government for what it is doing wrong. There can’t be free elections if the government is able to regulate what can and can’t be said about the elections.
The freedom if of the press is similar to the freedom of speech It allows the press to have the same freedoms that citizens have. Having a free press to keep us informed is important. If the government could regulate thee press then we wouldn’t be able to trust the press because they would be reporting what the biased government wanted.
The freedoms to assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances is also essential because it allows the citizens to come together and be heard by the government.
The First Amendment was written because the founding fathers knew that the American people can be trusted and that those in political office can’t. Because politicians want to keep their power and don’t like being criticized (no one does) they knew that politicians would try to take away the freedoms that are protected by the First Amendment if they weren’t protected.
For a long time the rights of the First Amendment were not abridged by the government. But today that is not true. The First Amendment has not been amended but we have been slowly abandoning it and changing its meaning.
The Federal Election Commission is something that regulates what we can and can’t do with our money when supporting political candidates. The reason that this is a problem is that it makes it very hard for someone who is not already a politician or celebrity to raise money for political campaigns.
While the First Amendment still protects us from the government, it is slowly being abandoned and if that doesn’t change the First Amendment might someday be just a memory.