The Repair to The Broken Machine

Taking Away the First Amendment Right to Protest


A successful society is a well-oiled machine, rolling smoothly on the path of progress. It defines itself with immense complexity, thousands of moving parts functioning in sync with each other. But what powers this machine? The answer, of course, is obvious; in fact it is self-evident, existing within the question itself. Power.

Power is the equivalent of energy, the engine of our societal machine: it is integral in order for anything to function. The output of our machine is characterized by efficiency, or the use of energy; similarly, it is how influential figures use power that defines a society.

And frankly, ours is in ruins.

We live in a society that is devoid of solutions: a pragmatic hell. Day after day, the governing bodies of our country debate endlessly over revisions that will be overturned as soon as the party majority reverses. It’s fruitless: we have been debating the finer points of immigration and healthcare for decades. Only the politicians themselves benefit from the endless recycling of major issues, receiving the benefits of revenue — and power.

Power is the ultimate motivator for government representatives: every single one of them desires sufficient control in order to implement their measures. This control is exerted through the very cycle mentioned above, giving terrifying life to the Orwellian slogan, “WAR IS PEACE.” The constant fight over these hot-button issues works groups of civilians into a frenzy, sparking a news cycle that brings the issue to light, and after it dies down a week later, a new topic is brought up, energizing the process into another heartless rotation. 

We fight back; we organize protests and walkouts. Yet things are not as they seem, as protests are the precise goal of politicians. Effective response of the populace through organized action is a pipe dream. It has no traction in the halls of legislature- a protest cannot make laws, can it? All these actions accomplish is focusing the efforts of the masses into an ineffective area, and away from the politician’s only true fear: the voting booths.

Pullquote Photo

America isn’t the land of the free; it is the land of the perpetually provoked.

— Luke Fortner

It’s working, America- working brilliantly. And now, more than ever before. Politicians have a perfect stability of power, and we are the basis of this control. We are the endless experiment, the battered punching bag, target practice for the political elite. America isn’t the land of the free; it is the land of the perpetually provoked.

In the end, we face an imbalance of power: a mighty spanner in the works of our machine. If nothing is done, it will shatter, and we will skid off of the path of progress and become a smoking wreck on the shoulder. This is truly a massive problem, and such problems require a radical solution to rise to the challenge. Here’s what I propose: eliminate the First Amendment right to protest.

Erasing the legality of protests accomplishes two things. First, the government loses all publicity. If no one is legally allowed to protest, politicians become fully secure. However, this security is much different than the kind we discussed earlier — it is artificial. Instead of being achieved through control, officials are totally secure without having to lift a finger. This means they have no motive to establish control, and thus the issues that they formerly utilized to exercise control effectively fade away. We, as the public, cease to be bombarded with controversy.

The second point encompasses this: by not protesting, we as a public learn to ignore politics. We turn a deaf ear to the endless headlines, to the mudslinging campaigns. We learn to focus our attention on local, more pressing issues — the ones that matter. Activists, formerly yearning to join the governmental cycle, take up instead the support of common moral ideals.

With government influence neutralized, and our efforts focused inwards, we reach a balance of power. A coexistence, rather than a competition.

For those of you worried about the loss of rights and the resulting existence of an all-controlling state, it’s time to realize that the issue is no longer about freedom. It’s about influence. The United States has little room for improvement in terms of personal freedoms, and  what now matters most is the impact others have on those freedoms. This solution provides the perfect remedy, as in our hands is a new type of action: the power to ignore, to eradicate negative influence.

Although the solution may at first seem preposterous, it is bound in logic. A government that continually invades our lives with noise must be met with ignorance. Since the general populace would never willingly do this, it must be made law. Seemingly a sacrifice, the loss of a fundamental right becomes the gateway to the future and an end to the toxic influence of politics- the repair to our broken machine.