Letters to the Editor

Stoddard letter: Free speech

I do not like NFL players protesting the flag and anthem — totally disagree with them. However, in the United States of America, citizens are guaranteed the right to say almost anything to support their position. What they are doing is a form of free speech. Even though I don’t agree with their method, and I have misgivings about their general viewpoint, I respect their right to protest. Disrespect to the flag that many have fought under? I think yes. Contempt for our anthem? I think so. But a cornerstone of our nation guarantees certain freedoms, and what they are doing is within that framework. The freedoms represented by that flag and anthem — including free speech — are part of what we’ve fought to defend since 1776. Under the Constitution, I cannot demand they stop just because I don’t believe their actions are right. If we deny to anyone else the right to say what we think is wrong, it will not be long before we will lose the right to say what we think is right. Voltaire stated this as: “I wholly disagree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Curtis Stoddard, Eagle