Sucker punched in the name of loving this country, anti-Trump protesters are taunted, manhandled by zealous Trump supporters wanting to make America Great again. As brawling and bullying become the norm at Trump rallies, demonstrators along with civil pubic discourse and freedom of speech have been K.O.’d.
Freedom of speech has been bandied about lately by Trump supporters and protesters alike.
In today’s overheated campaign climate it’s instructive taking a look at a vintage ad extolling our First Amendment rights, that ran during that cherished, mythical time that Mr. Trump wants to restore America to. This patriotic post war ad from Republic Steel is enlightening on the true meaning of freedom of speech.
Let Him Talk
Patriotic advertisements abounded in the cold war, touting among other freedoms, freedom of speech.
In this 1948 ad titled “Let Him Talk,” we are reminded how Americans are a tolerant people, blessed with opportunity and freedoms as compared to the enslaved people of Soviet Union.
And our First Amendment rights are one of our most cherished freedom.
And who better to present the American Way than the Steel Industry.
Talk To Me
The friendly cop talks directly to the reader about the assortment of public speakers he encounters on his beat.
“Get a load of him!” he begins, pointing to an image of a somewhat disheveled fellow railing on a soapbox.
In the ten years I’ve been patrolling this park, I’ve seen and heard all sots of crackpots. One guy said the only good food for people was…grass! Imagine me turning down a steak dinner for grass!
“And only last week” the cop continues “some wild eyed old coot was warning people that the world would pos-i-tive-ly come to an end today.”
“Now take that bird over there” Officer Joe says nodding to the apparent Socialist on the soapbox, who oddly enough bears some resemblance to Bernie Sanders
He’s telling everybody to quit work and let the government support them for the rest of their lives. Pretty soon everybody in the crowd’ll ask him where the governments going to get the money to do it…and the answer ought to be a honey.
“Why listening to answers like that keeps me laughing hard enough to forget my feet are killing me!” chuckles the Officer.
Get ‘Em Outta Here!
Some Republican candidates today might share a laugh with our patriotic Officer, guffawing at this kook who’s advocating an entitlement state.
But Trump supporters might not chuckle as much as sucker punch the offending view. In fact, unlike our good-natured Officer Joe, Trump might suggest “beating the crap outta him!”
But being a patriotic American, our police officer suppresses his feelings and continues:
Run ‘em in? Nah!…let ‘em have their say. This is one country where a guy can speak up without getting beat up for it.
As one demonstrator was escorted out of a Trump event last month, the bullying billionaire sneered “I’d like to punch him in the face!”
Trump’s entire campaign has been built on stoking anger and resentment against people of other races, religions, beliefs and nationalities.
You know…The American Way.
The Out of Towner
The copy of the ad continues, as he recalls an immigrant.
“Which reminds me of the foreign lad who stood on that same bench yesterday telling people how lucky they were to be living here in America.”
“Where he came from, there wasn’t any Free Speech.”
“He couldn’t go to the church he wanted. Couldn’t own property. Had his own business but they took that away and made him work in a slave camp.
“But in this country he picked out his own job…at the Republic Steel plant here in town…and he’s never been happier, helping to make steel for his adopted country.”
Of course that was at a time when there were still jobs to be had and plants weren’t being shuttered.
Matter of fact, he pointed right at me and told the crowd I was there to serve and protect them. In his country, he said everybody ducked when a cop showed up.
Kinda like what protesters do now at a Trump rally.
“Funny thing.” Officer Joe muses, “I didn’t mind him speaking about me. Me…part of Freedom!”
Y’ know, I listened to him so long, I was a good ten minutes late ringing in and the Sergeant gave me what for. But I’m glad I did listen to that foreigner. He’d brushed up my memory about a lot of things I’d been taking for granted.
Freedom of speech is not something to take for granted.
Trump urges violence against protesters at his rallies while claiming that those protesters have violated his own First Amendment rights,
As Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune puts it remarking about Donald Trump “he treasures his right to free expression, but yours is negotiable.”
This is not what America is all about. It’s not the American way.
© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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