We need the first amendment

Shae Slaughter

Westboro Baptist Church, nails on chalkboards, Tomi Lahren and the guests of The Maury Povich Show. What do these things have in common? Ding, ding, what is… things that make my ears bleed when I hear them speak? Just like that you could win a Jeopardy category focused around my life. However, these things also have more in common than just the ability to annoy me, they are also entitled to free speech and protection under the first amendment.

Okay so maybe the nails don’t have that right because they’re an inanimate object, but I was trying to make an overarching point. Yikes, right? We actually legally allow ‘churches’ to yell horrible slurs at military funerals and make their website domain a defamatory statement. We allow people to go on TV and use obscenities when discussing their cheating boyfriend’s lie detector test. It’s frustrating, it’s intriguing and it’s legal.

The first amendment, the most well-known of all amendments, is not put in place with censorship and classiness in mind. It is put in place to protect the rights that should be granted to all citizens, the right to opinions and beliefs. The things about free speech is that it exists regardless of whether or not you like what someone is saying. That point brings me back to my first sentence and Tomi Lahren.

Many of you have probably heard of her and her somewhat high pitched rants courtesy of The Blaze and her show on it including her ‘final thoughts’. She’s loud, aggressive and unapologetic. All of these traits are intriguing because they aren’t seen often in women. However, though I can support her strong will, my disapproval for Lahren comes from our opposing viewpoints on almost everything, alongside the harshness and sometimes seemingly misinformed way she seems to preach.

That being said, not long ago her appearance on The View surprised me. A much more understandable and approachable version of herself appeared as Lahren spoke about her views. Her calmer demeanor in a neutral setting allowed for me to listen to her more closely. She even mentioned that she was pro-choice, something that I’m sure many people, including myself, were surprised about. Many strictly conservative republicans fall on the other side of that fence. Lahren argued that since she is for limited government that it would be hypocritical to believe that the government still has a say on women’s bodies.

After her appearance, many people viewed her in a new light. These people included the owner of The Blaze, the network that Lahren’s show appeared on. In a very convenient timing of events she was suspended from her show and ultimately fired. She was punished for speaking her opinion, the very thing that she was initially hired to do.

The thing is, with the first amendment and the country we live in, opinions are necessary and should be encouraged. Shame on The Blaze and like-minded individuals who work to hush those with opinions that conflict their own. We don’t have to support what others say, but we do have to support their right to do so.

What kind of country would we be if no one was able to stand up for what they believe in? That’s right, we’d be living in a dictatorship, not a democracy. America is supposed to be synonymous with freedom and opportunity. For that reason, I support Lahren’s conservative rants and Maury Povich’s DNA tests. They might not be my cup of tea, but they might be my very own Boston Tea Party. In other words, shout out to all of you outspoken individuals, keep saying what you will.