EDITORIALS

Why does the cat have your tongue?

TimesNewspapers editorial staff

Recently, the editors of TimesNewspapers did an assignment of a “man on the street,” in which opinions about the recent election were asked.

It is disheartening how many people do not want to speak up and let others know their thoughts.

It is amazing that out of all people asked, “How do you think this election will change the world view?” not one wanted to reply. Excuses ranged from, “I don’t want people to know how I voted” to “I don’t want my picture in the paper” to “I own a business. I have to stay neutral.”

Today is a far cry from the ’60s when people protested in the streets, marched on the capital and — being so outspoken — were even gagged in a courtroom. This incident happened during the Chicago 7 trial. A story about this historical incident aired on WTVP Channel 47 a few weeks ago. The incident happened 40 years ago, yet the story is still being told.

The motto, “Well-behaved women rarely make history,” comes to mind. People who never speak out about their views never make history either.

It is too bad that, today, we do not have the same passion people had a few decades ago. If the presidential election wasn’t sufficient to get one pumped up enough to want to talk about it publicly, we are not sure if anything will.

If our founding fathers could see all of the people afraid to voice their opinions today, they would hang their heads in shame and question the value of the First Amendment.

One way to utilize your First Amendment right to freedom of speech is by submitting letters to the editor or posting on our Web site.

Mike Foster, a former journalism professor from Illinois Central College, offered one rationale. He said it’s the “mushroom mentality: if you stick your head up above the horsesh**, you are buried in, it gets cut off.”

It is a shame many choose to live below the manure.