It’s hard to miss the irony of the complete disaster our implementation of the First Amendment has been since it was penned and ratified some 230 years ago. Freedom of religion? Nope. Freedom of the press? Nope. Freedom of assembly and redress of grievances without officially-sanctioned violence as a response? Nope, nope and nope.
America failed at the very first thing we thought most important to cultivate as a nation. Is it any wonder the bloody tapestry of conquest that’s rolled out since? The beautiful thing of our system, however, is it remains infinitely malleable to We The People. We’re the primogenitor of the American Experiment.
The sad reality remains that We The People are also the primary consumers of polluted rights, fungible morals and blatant propaganda. All the power and none of the discernment. Intensity without intention. We flail at every obstacle without ever comprehending the larger picture. Without finding a calm center to even contemplate that such a thing could even exist. We The People have severe PTSD. Think about it. We’re touchy. Damaged. Willing to believe any fucking thing as long as it reinforces our preexisting conclusions.
As someone who has overcome the condition, though, I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be this way. We can absolutely shift this script. We can change the way we approach reality. We can remove our ego from the equation as a way to create a more reasonable and rational baseline. We The People can evolve. The only thing standing in the way of that transformation is a whole lot of birthdays. And funerals. Mostly funerals.
In the meantime, if 2022 builds on the trends from 2018 rather than being a 2010 redux, there’s a real chance that the entire narrative being spun in our mainstream media will continue to be ridiculously wrong. I watched Don’t Look Up over the weekend. The hyperbole intensified the comedic impact, but it wasn’t that far off the mark. We’ve been doing the exact same thing with climate change, an existential threat we already ignore even as it races toward us with a tail of destruction stretching decades into the future.
Which leads us back to the First Amendment and how we can reclaim the power it describes. Religions must be free to practice while the rest of us remain free from their influence on government policy and protections. Demand the press operate free from influence, both corporate and government. An independent press must be protected from private abuses as much as public interference. We The People should reclaim the absolute right to storm the public square without notice if the situation demands it.
This could be our greatest year yet as a nation or the final nail in a coffin some fifty years in the making. I know which direction I am pulling. How about you?