Upon free speech rests our liberty
Americans have and continue to support free speech in the abstract, but surveys repeatedly have found those same Americans favor restrictions in individual applications.
A First Amendment Center survey found that 74 percent favored preventing public school students from wearing a t-shirt with a slogan that might offend others. During the last presidential campaign, a 15-year-old Philadelphia girl was ridiculed by her teacher for wearing a Mitt Romney t-shirt.
Throughout U.S. history, individuals and groups advocating unpopular positions – from 19th century abolitionists to 20th century anti-war protestors and civil rights advocates – have faced challenges in their ability to exercise free speech. In the end, the First Amendment has prevailed.