Debate the speech, not the forum
February 15, 2018
On Sunday, Carson Valley residents will see our favorite part of the Constitution in full flower.
Of the five freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment, two or three at least will be on display.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a controversial figure, which we suspect is why the Douglas County Republican Party decided to invite him to Minden.
The goal of the Lincoln-Reagan dinner is to raise money for the party, which as anyone who knows will tell you, is a constant struggle.
The First Amendment guarantees Republicans the right to have whomever they like speak at their dinner.
There are people who have a problem not just with Arpaio, but with what he stands for. We understand they plan to exercise their right of peaceful assembly to demonstrate at his speech.
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And in the middle of that may well be some ink-stained wretches, representatives of the press, representing a third of the five freedoms.
It's a reach, but we wager there will be an invocation of some sort, so there's freedom of religion thrown in for good measure.
We believe in all those rights in the very fiber of our being. We also understand that some folks have decided to attack the venues, instead of sticking to the topic.
As a venue for opinions that sometimes make people mad, we're sympathetic.
One of the realities of a nation where pretty much anyone can say pretty much anything, it's something that happens.
But when the marketplace of ideas impinges on the marketplace, remember that preserving those forums is just as critical to our rights as exercising them.