Rush Limbaugh had a First Amendment right to say exactly what he said, but listeners have a corresponding right to call in and complain about the comments, and to urge advertisers to drop their financial support for the program.
There’s a scene in the new film “Margin Call”—a fictionalized retelling of the first 24 hours of the 2008 financial crisis—in which a recently-fired risk analyst sits on his front porch and reflects on his life’s work.
We need to encourage politicians to avoid framing every issue as one of rights, to stop appealing to the courts to resolve these issues, and to avoid rhetoric that encourages the kind of adversarial legalism that has led to increased litigation of personal and political issues in the past several decades.
Over the long weekend, I visited a friend at a university in New York. When entering this friend’s dorm for the first time, I was immediately stopped by a security guard who took my driver’s license, recorded my name, informed me that I had to be out of the building by 10pm, and kept the license until I left later that night.
Nonetheless, the Court’s opinion overlooks two crucial distinctions. First, it overlooks the difference between restrictions on freedom of speech and restrictions on the how, when, and where of speech. Second, it overlooks the difference between possessing rights and exercising them.
Ultimately, programs like Race to the Top represent the best means of achieving educational advancement in the United States, and competitive grants should be used more frequently in fostering progress. Nonetheless, a number of changes can improve this already effective program in its future incarnations.
The true injustice of affirmative action programs aimed at rectifying past discrimination relates to the victims of these programs: students who are guilty of no discrimination on their own but who are held collectively accountable for their race’s past actions.
The Park51 mosque continues to be the focus of most mainstream media outlets, but last week, it was a controversy around a smaller mosque located in Roxbury, Massachusetts, that truly illustrated an important point about the role of religion in America.