Friday, May 26, 2017

A Day In The Anti-Life - Free-Range Speech!

Let me take a moment to express my utter disgust with my own side. I am under no illusions about the absolute craven nature of our current "so-called" President, but that does not somehow extend to those who express offense at such changes in the leadership of the country the right to shout down those who express ideas contrary to their own. This has been brewing for some time and it's one of the ugliest aspects of the "Liberal" community, that increasingly it seems many who claim that label (as do I) are exceedingly illiberal when it comes to encountering contrary speech.

The most recent dust up involve infamous cranks on the extreme right who get a platform at a college somewhere and then are forbidden access because of the potential physical danger protesters pose or have their visit called off by leadership which caves into the pressure from the Left. To be totally clear on this point, this is not how we ought to operate in this land of the free and home of the brave. Free speech is inviolate and even the most despicable folks have a right to express their nonsense. If someone wants to put forth swill, they every right to do so as long as that swill doesn't actually advocate for the immediate harm of other individuals. But that "harm" is not hurt feelings and while bad ideas to indeed lead to bad actions, standing in the way of the concept of free speech does more harm.

When it comes to free speech I am pretty much an absolutist. A democratic republic must endure a vast array of opinions and most of the time the best ones will win, or at least we must hope so. The arc of history is that individual freedom will prevail, despite much immediate evidence to the contrary, and we as liberal voices must not stand in the way of the movement for liberty by attempting in short-sighted intemperance to forestall speech we disagree with. It's stupid and it's weak.

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