The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights consists of 30 rights and freedoms that belong to every human being. In 1948, after the horror of World War II and the nearly 17 million people mass-murdered by the National Socialist Party (Nazis), concerned world leaders were guided by the esteemed former first lady and human rights activist, Eleanor Roosevelt. They were determined to codify protections for individuals on a global level. “We stand today at the threshold of a great event both in the life of the United Nations and in the life of mankind. This declaration may well become the international Magna Carta for all (humankind) everywhere.”

Article 19 of the U.N. Declaration states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

At this very moment, social media giants Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google are banning and deleting millions of Americans from their platforms in order to silence any questions and concerns they have regarding the past and current activities of President-elect Joe Biden, as well as the lack of leadership of both the Democratic and Republican parties.

Regardless of one’s political affiliation, every constitutional, liberty-loving American should be horrified by these actions. These corporate, monopolistic, social-media cartels are playing a terribly dangerous game silencing legitimate political dissent. Our nation is founded on the principles of free speech and the ability to have a redress of grievances with our elected officials.

The First Amendment of our own Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

The nature of human beings when forced into silence or forced into any kind of compliance is to breed resentment. This resentment has the awful tendency of erupting in violence. History is loaded with examples, including our own American Revolution in 1776. I encourage my fellow Vermonters and Americans to call upon their elected officials to respect the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights and to adhere to the Constitution of the United States.

Stu Lindberg lives in Cavendish.

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