There are some things that I cannot say and expect to live. That’s the country I live in.
Free speech isn’t free.
It costs – sometimes a lot.
Free speech according to norms set by the government is free and encouraged. Anything deviating from governmental norms is not free. It will cost you.
In America, anyone serving in the military who gets captured by the entity that America is warring against is automatically called a hero. If any American has a contrary opinion, and speaks freely that opinion – while debating themselves out loud about it – it will cost them.
So free speech is not always free.
If an American openly criticizes a federal judge, same thing, it will cost them. You won’t go to jail, but you will be scourged, humiliated and denied services that any other free American would not be denied. You may be audited by the IRS or a number of other choice moves the government makes to bring you back into line with governmental norms.
America prides itself on free speech. An American can criticize the president and not go to jail, as would happen to a citizen of Jordan who criticized the king. The American government instead sends you to a jail of a different design. One where people who work in the underworld shadows will be assigned to make your life a living hell, while keeping the government above the fray of that deceit.
It’s not against the law to criticize a president, a judge or a captured military person, but it is against governmental norms, and you will pay the price.
In other words, getting even is their mantra. They don’t have to make it illegal – they work behind the scenes to punish you for stepping beyond the boundaries they set for you.
The only people who can do it and get away with it are hired talking heads, and the only place where it is allowed is on television. They do it, supposedly on behalf of the populace, acting as puppets for governmental forces talking into their ear pieces telling them what to say, how to say it and when to say it to the throngs watching them on the screen.
The purpose is for the throngs to vicariously experience emotions regarding issues the populace cares about.
Airing those emotions through human puppets, so you don’t go out and kill somebody over the issue – because you don’t have an outlet for your frustration – and so that you will eventually align yourself with governmental views is the goal of the government via these hired, well-educated actors. Some work full time, others act as contributors. Lots of lawyers, lots of former prosecutors. Some former judges.
My kingdom for yours? I don’t see where they are much different. Go to jail or have your life ruined. It’s all based on dictatorial forces – the dictator vs the dictatorial group.
How we’re perceived by the rest of the world is the concern. We’re told not to care what the neighbors think, but our government cares what other countries think, and will sacrifice your rights by skewing that innocent, honest thought into a dishonest but favorable light.