Some recent events in the news have practically forced me to write this article, because I feel that nowadays with the popularity of the Internet and everyone voicing their opinions on practically everything the American idea of "free speech" is completely responsible for the death of common sense.
The Government is Responsible for September 11th (Link)
According to The Nation, a July poll conducted by the Scripps News Service shows that one-third of Americans believe that "the government either carried out the 9/11 attacks or intentionally allowed them to happen in order to provide a pretext for war in the Middle East." This I simply do not understand. Since the internet film "Loose Change" was released and watched by millions of Americans, the idea of a government conspiracy regarding 9/11 seems to be in the back of everyone's mind. I'm all for the advancement of the internet and the unrestricted flow of information, but what I fear is that with all this information available to the public, there's a significantly higher chance that the majority of Americans will simply get confused between what does and does not make common sense and what is and is not true.
With the internet nowadays, anyone can say whatever they want - truly the definition of "free speech". It sounds good at first, but the problem lies in the fact that if a person is convincing enough, they'll get people to believe them. I know this sounds over-the-top, but if I were able to pull together a convincing enough film that hints that George W. Bush may snort cocaine once a day while in his office, chances are I could probably get tons of Americans to believe it as well. The worst part is that the video wouldn't even have to prove that Bush does snort coke. All it would have to do is provide enough evidence that we can't discount the fact that he snorts. If we can't say that he doesn't snort coke, then he must do it! Like I said, it sounds ridiculous, but this is exactly what has happened with "Loose Change".
"Free speech" has led Americans to believe that the government may be responsible for the terror of September 11th. Common sense, however, should remind us that this would never happen in the democratic United States. What country, other than one run by a dictator, kills thousands of its own people? And does anyone honestly believe this could ever happen in the United States? The fact is that the whole idea of the U.S. government voluntarily killing its own people to go to a war with another country is insane.
Is It OK to Argue that the Holocaust Never Took Place? (Link)
An article was posted on Newsvine about Holocaust conference being held on Monday. The article describes a conference Iran is hosting where various groups from all over the world, including the Ku Klux Klan, are debating over whether the Holocaust actually occurred. Surely there's no way people could argue that this conference should be held, right?
Actually, it turns some Americans actually do believe that free speech makes this conference acceptable. According to some, people should be allowed to express their opinions and should freely be able to debate the fact about whether the Holocaust ever existed.
Sorry, but where's the common sense here? What about the blatantly obvious proof that the Holocaust did exist? We have proof of torture chambers in Germany and actual witness' testimonies that say that there was a mass genocide of Jews in Europe. What is there to debate? The Holocaust did happen and there is no reason this conference in Iran needs to be held.
I think what I'm more concerned about is not that the Holocaust conference is being held, however. The Iranians can do whatever they want for all I care. What's more disconcerting is that Americans believe the Iranian view is justifiable, because it falls within the boundaries of "free speech". The common sense approach is to look at this and say, "Something seriously wrong is going on."
It seems to me that what people need to learn is that while "free speech" is great, it has its boundaries. As intelligent people, we need to be able to interpret what makes sense and what doesn't. While someone may be able to claim that the government was behind the terrorist attacks of September 11th, our common senses should tell us that this just can't be true. While the Iranians may be hosting a conference debating whether a massive genocide of Jews ever happened, our common senses should remind us that evidence exists that Holocaust did occur, and that such a conference is, at the very least, disrespectful to all Jewish people, especially those who survived the Holocaust.
Let's think, people, before we immediately accept everything we hear. If we don't start now, we'll soon be flooded with so much information and so many conspiracies that we'll believe everything and the whole idea of common sense will truly die away.