August 26th (Nashua, NH) – Your rights, freedoms, and liberties are all under attack, according to the President of the United States. At a press conference held after meeting with the governor of New Hampshire ostensibly to discuss recent events in the State, the President addressed the media and others in attendance with a fiery speech about personal freedoms. Said the President:
Here in New Hampshire, you have a saying I very much believe in: “Live free or die”. It is not “Live free unless there is a potential threat and then be willing to trade in that freedom for security.”
Not unexpectedly, after these opening remarks, the Commander-in-Chief then delved into well-trodden subjects for this administration including the contraction of military involvement around the world, the need to dramatically cut spending on armed forces, and the end of many measures that came about in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. From there, though, what started off with a discussion about the State’s motto turned into a smorgasbord of different concerns related to the basic rights under the Constitution. As the subject matter turned to more domestic issues, the President seemed particularly concerned with how the country approaches free speech. Per the leader of the free world:
I despise Neo-Nazis, the KKK, and other hate groups like them. But as is my duty under the Constitution, I will defend their right to free speech with my life.
At this, the President went on to explain that the only way to get rid of horrible people is not by suppressing them, but by letting them talk freely and openly. This, the President contended, would allow “these idiots” to “prove how stupid they really are.”
Scientific studies, though, do not back the President up in this assessment. Many times, results have found that just having exposure to these messages and ideas allows them to propagate, especially since the advent of the internet. This has been seen in many cases where people believe in complete nonsense despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. For example, look no further than the 2020 Presidential election where supporters of former-President Donald Trump were convinced that the vote had been “stolen” no matter the overwhelming amounts of verified and judicially-reviewed information that was available. This directly led to the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol Building by those very same supporters, and their denial after the attack that it either happened or involved their compatriots.
Still, the President also managed to stoke similar doubts, telling the crowd that surveys show that over 90% of Americans believe that the government or other organizations are trying to take their rights away. Speaking about this, the President said:
Let me tell you, you have every reason to fear this being true, and it isn’t just about free speech. Are they coming for your right to bear arms? Yes. Do they want to take away your religious freedom? Absolutely. Are they trying to limit equal access to justice and resources, especially based on minority status? You can guarantee it. Are they trying to force you to be someone else, something else, and control your right to love whomever you want? Sadly, that is happening, too.
We asked the President’s Director of Communications to provide details on the data the President was referencing. They presented us with the results of many surveys, including a 2019 one from Harris Poll / Purple Project. While the results do generally align to the President’s language, there are important caveats that must be highlighted. First off, there was no major agreement on what rights were being restricted. When forced to pick specific freedoms, the top five selections came in as:
- Speech (48%)
- Bear Arms (47%)
- Equal Justice (41%)
- Expression (37%)
- Religion (35%)
Thus, while it may be true that over 90% of Americans believe their liberties are under threat, there is no consensus on which ones. At most, less than half of people are concerned about any specific right.
Another example cited was the 2022 “Mood of the Nation Poll” by The McCourtney Institute for Democracy. In this study, on average 68% of respondents felt that over the next 10 years they would lose more freedoms than they would gain. This was in comparison to the remainder who either felt the opposite (11%) or did not see any change coming (21%). Unstructured responses to a question asking which rights they were most worried about losing aligned similarly to the Harris Poll from before, although the timing of the survey caused a large spike in concerns about “reproductive rights” and “women’s health and bodily autonomy” due to it being conducted around the time of the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which allowed individual States to ban abortions after 50 years of that right being guaranteed for all women.
Nonetheless, the President then went on to explain that various governments, political appointees, public servants, special interest groups, and individual people will always be pushing for their own agendas. The job of each and every person, expounded the chief executive, is to always push back as that is the only way to maintain a balance. Further, the President said:
It is the responsibility of the people to protect their rights, even if others think they have gone too far. That is what it means to “live free or die”.
That may be a dangerous call to arms in this tinderbox of a nation. But as the President pointed out, it was inaction and complacency during the decades that Roe v. Wade was on the books that made people assume their rights to personal health decisions—especially those related to abortions—were protected. Because they thought they had won, it gave the minority special interests groups the time they needed to eventually turn the tide, and thus the fight had to begin all over again.
The above piece is an excerpt from the speculative fiction novel 254 Days to Impeachment: The Future History of the First Independent President by J.P. Prag, available at booksellers worldwide.
Learn more about author J.P. Prag at www.jpprag.com.
254 Days to Impeachment is a work of mixed fiction and nonfiction elements. With the fiction elements, any names, characters, places, events, and incidents that bear any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental. For the nonfiction elements, no names have been changed, no characters invented, no events fabricated except for hypothetical situations.
About the Creator
J.P. Prag is the author of "Compendium of Humanity's End", "254 Days to Impeachment", "Always Divided, Never United", "New & Improved: The United States of America", and "In Defense Of...", and more! Learn more at www.jpprag.com.