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.
Tolerance of Ideas
Freedom of speech, especially through our practice of extending protection to speech that we find hateful and personally upsetting, teaches us to become more tolerant in other aspects of life. That argument stems from the idea that a more tolerant society is a better society.
As Iran-Contra, Clintongate and the Enron scandal (and many other scandals through history), demonstrate, freedom of the press to report on these kinds of scandals allows all of our citizens to learn about abuses of power. By knowing the details, as reported by a free press, our citizens then have the knowledge to do something about that abuse at the ballot box in the election process if they feel so inclined.
Citizens will not make wise and informed choices in elections if candidates and proponents of certain policies are restricted in their ability to communicate positions. Being able to gather, assemble and talk about the great issues of the day allows our citizens to choose the leaders that most closely mirror the wishes of the democratic majority.