By Larry Oscar
It is interesting to observe how many family traditions creep into our lives over the years. Just about everybody has some favorite tradition for the holidays. Traditions are a part of our life that get ingrained into our very being.
Some people just cannot get through the holiday season without traditions. I wonder why that is? We have some national traditions that go back to the founding of our country. Traditions that are ingrained into the very fabric of our national character. In fact, one of these traditions became so important to the founding fathers that they included it in the Constitution.
You know the Constitution don’t you? It’s the supreme law of the land. One such tradition of the colonialists was free speech. That was something they did not have while living under the king, but after moving to America they suddenly found themselves living where they could say what they thought without fear of retribution from the king’s men.
As the tradition of free speech caught on it became such an important part of liberty that they were willing to die to defend it. Today free speech is under assault.
Our schools and universities have moved from teaching you how to think to teaching you what to think. And when free speech is a threat to their “what to think” belief system they mistakenly want to shut it down. Somehow they think the diversity of thought needs to be suppressed.
I hate to be a bearer of bad news to these folks, but diversity of thought is and shall ever be a founding pillar of our nation. We do not, nor should we, all think alike. Diversity of thought is what drives our quest for scientific knowledge, new technology, and even the arts.
Can you imagine what sort of music we would have today if composers were forced to all compose the same type of music? It is human nature to be diverse. We are all different in many respects. The founding fathers were intelligent enough to know this. That is why we are not one monolithic nation, but rather a united collection of individual states. Each state has people who live their lives with a slightly different approach than other states.
We are individuals who come together and unite for common causes. Diversity of thought and abilities is a natural state of mankind. ( I Corinthians 12). If the Marxist-Socialist beliefs that our universities preach is so superior then they should not be afraid of debate. Today it is said that we have a divided nation. Guess what? We have always had a divided nation. Factions exist in a free society. However, our differences have never been subjected to the scrutiny of social media as they are today.
Today you can exercise your right to free speech in just about 10 seconds and broadcast it to millions over social media. And your thoughts and ideas may just bruise the fragile emotions of many a thin skinned liberal. For they have never learned the value of free speech and how it adds to the advancement of our society.
Without free speech we would have never had the fugues of Bach. We would never have discovered the world was round. Copernicus would have been silenced and we would still think the sun revolves around the earth. We would still be having witch trials. We would never have made it to the moon. And we would never have become a free nation in the first place.
All of these things were the result of free speech. Just imagine what type of world we would all live in today if the United States had never been born. The world owes a great debt of gratitude to this nation. We have not always made the right decisions. And why would we? After all, we are just fallible humans. But the good this nation has done far exceeds the bad.
Our generosity and aid to the other nations of this world in times of crisis has never been equaled. We are the bellwether of liberty and freedom for the entire world. We have laid down our lives so that other peoples in other lands can have the freedoms we enjoy. We are indeed an exceptional nation with an exceptionally diversity of people. May we never be of monolithic thought.
We, the people, must stand up and demand that our institutions of higher learning do not become institutions of lower learning. This can only be accomplished within a climate of free speech. “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” – Ronald Reagan.
(Larry Oscar is a graduate from the University of Tulsa and holds a degree in electrical engineering. He is retired and lives with his wife on a lake in Oklahoma where he brews his own beer, sails, and is a member of numerous clubs and organizations.)