We all have the use of free speech, allowing us to add to the dialogue of whatever stage we choose to be on. That first amendment thing. A right.
What we don't have is a right to say anything we want without any repercussions. It is not an open-ended right. That civil discourse thing. A courtesy.

With that freedom comes the responsibility to communicate our thoughts in a manner that not only conveys our message effectively, but also does so in what once was the standard. That of common decency and the respect towards accepting that ours is not the only opinion that defines any subject.

Something once the product of well thought out study and a sense of self-discipline determined by one's dignity and defined by one's character. Not by any other's need to change that character to sway public opinion.

Yet, the standard is no longer prevalent.

What we see in the modern day is the shallowness of low brow banter calling itself freedom of speech. A surfeit of personal egos masquerading as popular opinion, or trying to build walls around their houses of cards. The media spinning other's opinions, or adding personal or corporate assumptions falsely to them.

They reach far into interpretations to fulfill the need to spread their propaganda both on the national, and more recently on the local stage, all under the guise of freedom of a press that elides truth as they try to supplant every citizen's right to discern reality with the insistance of belief in the media's programming response.

We all have the freedom of speech. And what is offered should remain as it is as to let those hearing or reading it to form their own opinion as to its worth. Or neccessity. No addition or condition should be applied by national networks or local media.

In doing so, the opinion loses its originality and becomes property of the reporting media's bias.

We should always offer our best speech as to help find its way into positive action. What we are hearing, and reading, is neither. The want to change that is up to us. The result will be worth the effort.

So to say.

Alan Fox, Waxahachie