Should Spouses of Elected Officials Be Required Not to post on Social Media? Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Should Spouses of Elected Officials Be Required Not to post on Social Media?

10 January 2015 at 3:42:05 PM

I got an anonymous comment which I unfortunately cannot publish. The commenter mentioned someone who posts on Facebook that posts some, in the commenter's opinion, pretty vitriolic, inflammatory and untrue accusations. I do not read the target's Facebook posts and definitely am not going to mention someone personally that is a private individual, but I liked one facet of the comment. 

i think XXXXX the most level headed of the whole board and is truley working to make our hospital better. with XXXXX stiring up the community XXXXX is doing more damage to this hospital than anyone, maybe our county attorney should make sure no board members spouses talk bad about other board members.the county attorney sure has made a big deal out of it about the Harpers.

I personally and obviously do not agree with the idea that free speech should be stopped for spouses of elected government officials. That would make a spouse less than a full citizen, entitled to the freedoms of the US constitution. Even if a board were to pass something that said "Hey, You! Your Spouse Can't Speak Out About Anything Unless We Approve First", it would certianly be subject to a lawsuit. After all, who is the arbiter of whether something is *bad* or not? Isn't the very essense of freedom of speech the right to speak freely, to speak out, and, although not intentionally, that speech might possibly offend others just by virtue of being spoken? I've seen some people with pictures on their Twitter or Facebook page showing "I am Charlie Heblo", wihch French satirical magazine published some highly offensive cartoons. I support their right to do it, although I probably wouldn't pass on a lot of the cartoons they did, because they are offensive to me. But our courts protect offensive speech. If you had, for example, a matter of public concern, you should be able to speak out about it even if your way of doing it is offensive. I have the right NOT to listen, to watch, to pay attention to those I consider offensive. I don't listen or watch Rush Limbaugh, for example and no one makes me. Likewise, no one makes anyone read a particular Facebook page or even this site. 

But I think there's a good point here. The wife of at least one local government official regularly speaks out against other government officials on her Facebook page. Does anyone think that her husband, the elected official, is actually behind that and using her as his mouthpiece? Really? So that she is not considered to be as full an American citizen as her husband? And yet, if a wife speaking out is an issue that is relevant or of public concern,  why focus ONLY on one certain couple? 


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1 - pstern   10 Jan 2015 @ 4:01:15 PM 

Nope... Constitutional right of free speech.  Can't tell them to do squat.  At least, not yet... not until after we become a dictatorship, which may come soon enough.  

Check your history...democracies have lasted an average of 200 years and the US is over that already.

But, if the spouses were smart, which most are not, they would be quiet.  In fact, all of us should stay away from social networks.

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2 - salon   10 Jan 2015 @ 4:57:05 PM 

Hah! I'll be fighting against that dictatorshipo. Don't agree witn you about spouses being quiet UNLESS the marriage is one of political calculation, ie, the elected spouse wants to be a career politician and has made a private arrangement with spouse to keep quiet. Otherwise, there is zip to tell a spouse he or she can't speak out. 

Latest Blog Post by salon -Why Didn't Somervell County Hospital District member Ron Hankins RECUSE himself from vote or actions re: State of Texas ex rel Best v Harper?
3 - pstern   10 Jan 2015 @ 6:02:20 PM 

You took what I said too personally... of course I don't mean that only spouses should be off social networks, I believe EVERYONE should stay off them.  They are being used like a cattlecar to house the American mind, spirit and is a wonderful tracking mechanism used by Big Brother and big business.

Latest Blog Post by pstern -Who funds ISIS?
4 - salon   11 Jan 2015 @ 8:10:07 AM 

Peter-I do agree with you there about Facebook. I don't care much for Facebook for the very reasons you mention, including the tracking mechanism. I've read so much recently about Facebook's experiments, and misbegotten new features like the one that kept showing that poor man, in year in review, his dead daughter. And, since it's a free, voluntary site to join in which anyone posting has given permission for their information to be sold to marketing entities, I always think any likes or postings are being aggregated to create sellable profiles. 

Latest Blog Post by salon -Why Didn't Somervell County Hospital District member Ron Hankins RECUSE himself from vote or actions re: State of Texas ex rel Best v Harper?
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