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Malicious Free Speech Rights Threaten our Democracy

The US has emphasized individual free speech rights to the point malicious free speech threatens our democracy and our individual human rights.   A recent horrible example of that is the way Admiral Jackson’s reputation and career was destroyed by anonymous accusations.  Admiral Jackson had been the White House Doctor through several administrations and was nominated by President Trump to head the Veterans Administration.  Members of the White House medical staff made anonymous accusations to the Senate Committee members reviewing the nominations that Admiral Jackson wrecked a government vehicle while drunk and illegally wrote drug prescriptions for White House staff.  Without any independent verification of the accusations, Senate Committee members repeated the accusations in the public hearing and demanded Admiral Jackson rebut them.  What happened to Admiral Jackson’s legal right to face his accusers in a court of law and demand independent third-party proof of those accusations?  What happened to his legal right to know the identity of any accuser?  Admiral Jackson’s personal, legal rights were trashed and his reputation and career were destroyed.

Admiral Jackson’s multiple accusers didn’t prove anything. None of them would have legal access to copies of staff prescriptions.  If they did, they got it by committing a federal felony that violated the privacy rights of that staff member.  Our medical records are strictly confidential and accessible only by ourselves, our doctor and someone we designate.

It seems now that when one person is selected for a high-level position, high honor or recognition, people from their past come forward with all sorts of nasty unproven accusations and try to destroy them.  Has our culture of Me! Me! Me! Come to the point that people can’t tolerate seeing another person achieve recognition that they have not achieved and therefore want to destroy them form jealousy and envy?  Is that the end result of our Western society emphasis on the welfare and happiness of the individual over the welfare and happiness of the community?  Let’s hope not! That will only end with no welfare and happiness for anyone.

Early in our history the Supreme Court decided that our personal individual rights end where the rights of others begin.  The decision was “no person has the right to yell fire in a crowded theater knowing the resulting panic will injure and kill others”. No person has the right to make malicious false accusations that destroy the reputation, career and lives of others.  We need desperately to get back to our roots.

The current Chinese communist leaders laugh at our emphasis of individual rights, welfare and happiness over that of the community.  They consider it a fatal weakness that will lead to our defeat economically and militarily by the Chinese emphasis on welfare and happiness of society.

Ralph Coker

Bio:  Ralph Coker is a retired petroleum refinery plant manager.  He writes on business, economic. military social and political topics.

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