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The Drawbacks Of Freedom Essay

1093 words - 4 pages

The United States constitution grants many freedoms with minimal to no restrictions, which can be considered beneficial to the public. In “we are free to be you, me, stupid, and dead” by Roger Rosenblatt, he relays the disadvantages of limitless freedom. He focuses mainly on freedom of speech and the possible drawbacks to having ungoverned freedom of expression.
Roger points out the public faulty rationale in the first paragraph as he says, “Everyone loves free expression as long as it isn't exercised”. Here, Roger reveals the contradiction between the people’s demand for the expansion of their freedoms, and their unwillingness to tolerate the results. Simply put, Roger believes that people support freedom of speech as long it does not affect or offend them. He reinforces his assumption through examples that show the misuse of a limitless freedom.
Roger gives two examples that display actions that freedom of speech protects. Yet, these actions infuriate the public. First, Roger gives the story of a basketball player who refused to stand up for the playing of the national anthem because of personal religious convictions. The basketball association suspended him from the league. He continues with a second story of a baseball player the major league baseball suspended; for saying that he did not want to ride New York City's Number 7 subway with single moms and aliens.
In both examples, Roger refers to the wording of the constitution. He believes the wording of the constitution is part of the problem that causes misinterpretation of the freedom provided by the constitution. He also believes that the wording restricts government authority, at the same time distorting public opinion.
Roger continues to indicate that ungoverned freedom is one of the foundations of the American culture. Yet, he approaches this statement with censure. Moreover, he believes that such ungoverned freedom is damaging. He continues his argument through the showing how unrestricted freedoms can test ones capacity for toleration. He shows examples of how certain individuals or groups misuse the freedoms granted, as he relays some of the extremist groups that used freedom of speech as a method to create dismay.
As usual, he supports his statements by giving examples to provoke his readers into agreeing with him. He creates several worst-case scenarios to prove his point, such as editorials sympathizing with Taliban or Nazis want to march around Harlem. Through these examples, Roger shows that even though freedom of expression protects these actions, people do not tolerate them.
Using the previous statements, Roger progressed to his premise. People do not know their toleration limits since people do not know what they will tolerate. They are not in a position to ask for the expansion of the freedom of expression. He starts to wonder how far ungoverned freedom will affect our perceptions and behaviors. Moreover, Roger describes freedom as a legal drug, being freedom...

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