Free speech in the US should not be policed — even when it 'curses' the president: Dean Obeidallah

Free speech in the US should not be policed — even when it 'curses' the president: Dean Obeidallah
Photo by Unseen Histories on Unsplash
African American demonstrators outside the White House, with signs demanding the right to vote and protesting police brutality against civil rights demonstrators in Selma, Alabama

Should Americans be allowed to "curse" the president? A CNN op-ed is explaining why it should be allowed.

With the rise of divisiveness that came with the intense 2020 presidential election and its aftermath, many Americans had no qualms about sharing their disdain for political candidates. And journalist/author Dean Obeidallah explains why it should not be condemned.

Obeidallah made it clear that while he does not support former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the election, he does agree with his supporters having the right to express their disdain for candidates with whom they do not align.

Pointing to the wide range of protections regarding free speech as it pertains to political criticism, Obeidallah notes the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the 1974 case of The New York Times v. Sullivan. At the time, the court wrote that the "debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials."

Since America is a land of free speech, Obeidallah is in total support of Americans expressing their views however they see fit -- regardless of who the political figure is. He also stresses the importance of the government staying away from "policing the words in which we convey our criticism."

"That's the way it must be. If you don't like a president -- or any elected official for that matter -- the government should not be in the business of policing the words in which we convey our criticism. Anything less means our democracy -- which is currently under attack by the GOP's concerted effort to enact laws to suppress the vote -- will be even less robust going forward. And that is bad for all Americans, regardless of political loyalties."

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