Secretary of State John Kerry recently advised an audience of German students, "in America you have a right to be stupid." Secretary Kerry was referring to the liberty of expression that allows Americans to celebrate their ideas, or the lack thereof, without government censorship. This could be a great way to introduce the topic of limitations on governmental power and the parameters of Commercial Speech. I often find that students don't initially recognize that the Freedom of Expression keeps you free only from government censorship. It does not mean that you are protected from comment and response by other persons. You are free to speak. But others are equally free to speak back - and take action where appropriate. And, of course, free speech does not apply in the workplace, where you may be fired for stating your opinion.
John Kerry: Right to be stupid:
A few examples of Americans exercising that right:
Don Imus refers to the Rutgers Women's basketball team as "Nappy Headed Ho's":
Donald Trump saying almost anything:
Westboro Baptist Church (in harmony, yet):
Todd Akin of "legitimate rape" fame:
One of my personal favorites: Jury Duty is Unconstitutional: