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Evidently, getting involved with an insurrection that could’ve led to a coup is hazardous to your career’s health. An array of people, including a CEO, attorney, real estate broker, professor, school occupational therapist, fireman and others, have been outed and many fired from their jobs.  

 

About 100 people have been arrested since last Wednesday when avid Trump supporters disrupted lawmakers, as they were confirming the Electoral College results and President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. People on social media outed the rioters and pressured companies that employed them to now summarily fire the protestors.  

 

I’m far from a Constitutional scholar, but I believe that First Amendment rights only prohibit people from being punished by the government for their speech, not by a private employer, so companies have the discretion to terminate a person’s employment.   

 

I understand how incensed people are over what happened. It was frightening to watch. Growing up in America, seeing the videos, it felt as if the violence and mayhem took place in another country. We are supposed to be the ones who work things out peacefully—not through strong-armed violent tactics. How can you not hate someone who shows up to the Capitol Building, where our congressmen and women work, with guns, weapons and devices to harm our political leaders, or worse? It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon and disparage these people.

Like most Americans, I’m a believer in free speech and not a proponent of violence, riots, mayhem and lawlessness to get your way. In the wake of the aggressive tactics used by Trump supporters, there was a swift concerted movement to literally shut people up. Parler, the social media site of preference for right-leaning people, was shut down, as all of its vendors cut ties with the platform. Thousands of “conservative” accounts on Twitter were locked down. Republicans claimed that they lost large numbers of followers. 

 

In the U.S. we can separate our anger from forgetting about the Constitution and succumbing to mob mentality. Free speech is the cornerstone of our rights. Imagine if you can’t freely share your thoughts. What happens to your job if you say something that’s not aligned with the approved narrative? You run the risk of being canceled, losing your job and livelihood.

 

You have to keep in mind that today the target is the Republicans and Trump supporters who are being silenced. It could easily change. Moderate Democrats could be silenced by their more leftist party members or vice versa. It’s a dangerous slippery slope if we allow this to happen.

 

When I was a kid, the Democrats and “leftists” had a saying, “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” We should bear this in mind before we silence free speech that we don’t like.

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