Paul Greenberg

But note how narrow was the decision in this case, and how easily overturned when the appetite for power recovers from this blow for liberty and is whetted again. That one-vote margin is one more illustration of how vulnerable the spirit of liberty is, and why it requires eternal vigilance. Day after day. Which happens to be the publication schedule of a daily newspaper.

Let freedom ring -- even if makes a wild cacophony. Restore us as in days of yore, the years of our youth, when liberty was young and the thrill of it wasn't yet gone, when this infant republic was already the hope of the world even if the world didn't know it.

Rekindle the Spirit of '76, when colonial pamphleteers flooded this still new country with their opinions, respectable or quirky, armed only with their utter conviction, printing presses, and trays of hand-set type, which might as well have been ammunition in their never-ceasing fights, often enough with one another. Let that old free-for-all have a new birth of life.

Let every voice be raised in raucous, uneven chorus. Voice your principles and convictions, Americans, and your crackpot theories and political manias, too. Give it your best shot, George Soros. Let us have it, Koch Brothers. Listen to Walt Whitman, one and all, and open your barbaric yawp.

The more genteel types among us keep saying that American politics is much too raucous these days. My own considered opinion is that it ain't near raucous enough. This country needs a new birth of freedom, and newborns ain't exactly quiet, passive types.

Yes, restore us as in the days of our youth. Listen and you can hear, in the divided and deeply felt opinions of all these justices, majority and minority, the sound of free Americans going at it citation by citation and claim after claim, and, off in the distance, the trill of a fife and rat-a-tat-tat of a drum playing Yankee Doodle Dandy. It's the sound of free, unbridled speech. And it's music to the ears.

Go to it, Americans. As if you lived in a free country.

Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.