You may have heard, some long-bearded man who stars in a popular reality TV show said something offensive and the entire country flipped their lid. Once again, Americans of all stripes decided they were scholars of the U.S. Constitution, and chimed in accordingly.
I have little to say regarding the Duck Dynasty controversy that unfolded yesterday except for this: when something major happens that you consider a violation (or not) of one’s constitutional rights, think long and hard before you say something. Look, I’m no Constitutional scholar. I didn’t go to law school, nor do I pretend to be an expert in all things “freedom.” I’m a political scientist, who dabbles in the world of campaigns and political communications and I can tell you without a doubt that the vast majority of this country hasn’t the slightest clue what they’re discussing.
Like so many other, I joined the fray yesterday, and chipped in my two cents. It’s not worth repeating here, but let’s be clear, no one’s constitutional rights were violated yesterday. In fact, all the noise that emanated from the Duck Dynasty nonsense is a fantastic demonstration of the power of free speech. Americans hit the web to express support for either Phil Robertson or A&E without any repercussions or interference from an oppressive government.
Remember, your right to free speech protects you from the government, not your employer.
We live in a great country that allows us to debate something as irrational and bizarre as the personal views of a man who makes a living through calling ducks.
If that’s not freedom and American, I don’t know what is.
Ultimately, the fallout gives off the distinct impression that we now live in a country where we politicize everything. Pseudo-politicians like Sarah Palin insist on giving their political opinion of the actions a private company took when they believed an employee stepped out-of-bounds. Ditto for Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.
Not everything in this country is political. The talking heads, politicians, pundits, and others would make you believe that there is politics in everything we do, but there just isn’t. We are the ones creating the political environment when it doesn’t need to exist.