Sandy Baird is a lawyer, professor, and a longtime Democrat. She also happens to think that Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze TV should be brought to Burlington, Vt.
How is that possible? Well, in a day when rodeo clowns are shunned from society for wearing a mask mocking the President Barack Obama, Baird still believes in the First Amendment.
“I support the efforts to have TheBlaze TV come to Burlington, because I support free speech and believe we should have access to as many political perspectives as possible,” she said, according to a Vermont paper.
In a follow-up interview with TheBlaze, Baird explained that she was equally outspoken about bringing Al Jazeera America to the local Burlington Telecom network (BT) — a battle she won, by the way.
“I think that my students — as well as all Americans — need to see all those views, and frankly, they don’t on [the] mainstream media,” she said. “They either watch MSNBC, which is a channel for the Democrats, or they watch Fox, which is a vehicle for the Republicans. And while that’s fine, we need a lot more views. And frankly, a lot more information. And that’s why I totally support free speech.”
Though she wasn’t familiar with the Missouri rodeo incident, after a brief rundown, Baird offered this insight: “I was at one point the state legislator for my district, and at that point there was a big movement here in Vermont to outlaw flag burning, and I took the position then and I’ll take the same position now — the Constitution is not about speak that we agree with. The Constitution is about speech that we don’t agree with. You are free in this country, it seems to me – at least we have been – to express disagreeable opinions.”
When asked what it says about American politics today, that someone standing up for something as basic as the First Amendment can be considered to be “taking a stand” — Baird responded: “It says to me that the government is seriously expanding into the area of human rights, and that Americans can no longer be guaranteed that they have the same human rights that we were born with, which was in the Constitution.”
“The Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of speech…and that’s what should be upheld,” she said. “No matter what we think of that person’s opinion…Without that kind of free speech, we are no longer a free country.”
Baird said she has always leaned left in her life – she served in the legislature as a Democrat – but said lately she’s begun to say “that we shouldn’t be left or right.”
“We should have sort of an alliance of people on the left and the right of people who are willing to work for our Constitution. And that doesn’t come in either left or right positions. That comes from people who are simply concerned with upholding the Constitution, and they are found on both the left and the right. And that’s where I am.”