It seems we have reached a new point of inversion.
Are we at a point where references to the Constitution are now censored by the public education system? The curriculum has long been compromised with Constitutional half-truths, but are we now censoring student’s speeches that reflect on the Constitution? Is it too controversial, or just too obviously true, to allow a valedictorian to point out that the federal government is trampling rights?
According to reports, a North Texas valedictorian’s microphone was recently shut off mid-speech when his speech varied from the submitted script. The speech varied and “…he was talking about getting constitutional rights getting taken away from him.” the microphone was cut off. In fairness to the school, there was a policy in place that microphones would be shut off if the speech went off-script.
However, this trend to micromanage the speech of those that have earned the highest academic position available is problematic. What prompts the school to implement such authoritarian measures of censorship of a valedictorian’s speech? Who’s speech is it anyway? Why did this valedictorian feel the need to remove references to the Constitution in the draft submitted to the school censors?
What bother’s me most about this is the precedent that this presents. That is, the idea that this valedictorian requires permission from a school district before he can speak about issues as necessary and proper in public discourse as the Constitution. It reminds me of statement Ayn Rand wrote in an essay entitled The Nature of Government:
“Now consider the extent of the moral and political inversion in today’s prevalent view of government. Instead of being a protector of man’s rights, the government is becoming their most dangerous violator; instead of guarding freedom, the government is establishing slavery; instead of protecting men from the initiators of physical force, the government is initiating physical force and coercion in any manner and issue it pleases; instead of serving as the instrument of objectivity in human relationships, the government is creating a deadly, subterranean reign of uncertainty and fear, by means of nonobjective laws whose interpretation is left to the arbitrary decisions of random bureaucrats; instead of protecting men from injury by whim, the government is arrogating to itself the power of unlimited whim—so that we are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.”
The movements toward a separation of Constitution and state are indefensible. The Constitution is the tool that must be used to reel in the federal government. And it starts by talking frankly about the problem and deriving suitable solutions from the tools provided by our founders.
Jefferson said it best:
“In questions of power, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”
If our educational system censors discussions of constitutional matters from public discourse, then we have already lost the ability to limit the federal government.