Let’s Agree to Disagree
Here’s a question: what happened to the liberal dogma of the 1960’s “I disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” Freedom of speech was a major tenant of the liberal platform in the 20th century. So what happened? Conservatives and Libertarians are regularly targets for the left. They are referred to as Hitler, bigots, “climate deniers”. Christians are persecuted all the time for their beliefs without any negative recourse on those attacking them. The Black Lives Matter movement goes after businesses and politicians with violent protesting. I guess that’s ok nowadays. But if someone calls out a liberal or progressive or a non-Christian and questions their ideology, they are viciously attacked.
Free speech was not designed for talking about the weather. It wasn’t ratified as the First Amendment so people could have conversations about their favorite sports team. Free speech is for controversial speech. But for the left, free speech is only allowed if you agree with them. If not, your speech will be called “hate-speech” and they will declare that it shouldn’t be allowed. They are, however the ones engaging in the very hate speech they speak of. Don’t believe me? Turn on the news. Follow a Facebook thread about Donald Trump or even Ron Paul—the non-violent, non-interventionist libertarian. You’ll see these people decried as Hitler, bigots, Nazis, fascists, etc. Do you have reservations about policy? Criticize the hike in the minimum wage…you are an evil person who doesn’t care about people. Question the validity of transgender bathrooms and you are the scum of the Earth. The only people who have freedom of speech today are those who agree with political correctness and big, interventionist government.
So what happened to tolerance for ideas? In college I studied endlessly about a “discourse” in the culture that was necessary for all individuals to grow. Today, that discourse is tolerated in theory, but in practice you had better follow the liberal, university establishment policies and belief systems or you’ll find yourself the target of the very hate speech they decry. Tolerance is dead among the left. In it’s place is a militant ideology dedicated to subverting the freedoms we all cherish—Life, Liberty and Property. How did this happen? Read Theodore And Woodrow by Andrew Napolitano. Then read For a New Liberty by Murray Rothbard. You’ll discover how the progressive movement infiltrated both parties to the extent that they are nearly inseparable. Even those considered to be on the right have adopted a mostly progressive philosophy, which begs the question as to why the left so viciously attacks them when many of their policies are identical—the federal reserve, the war on poverty, the war on drugs, foreign intervention.
I’ll leave you with these thoughts so that people may be a little more tolerant and less militant about the speech of others:
“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” ― George Orwell
“Because if you don’t stand up for the stuff you don’t like, when they come for the stuff you do like, you’ve already lost.” ― Neil Gaiman
“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” ― Benjamin Franklin
“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” ― George Washington