Monday, August 14, 2017

The Real Danger are Opponents of Free Speech - Which is Almost Everyone

The most important principle to consider when thinking about Charlottesville, and the like, is that everyone has a right to free speech. Without free speech, i.e., the ability to think and speak freely without fear of violence, America is doomed.
When I say everyone, that includes everyone, even Nazis. Nazis have a right to speak and peaceably assemble, even if you disagree with them. It is up to the government, in this case the local police, to protect these rights. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed this right in the famous 1977 Skokie case, where a group of Nazis sought to march in Skokie, Illiinois.
As an American, I'm proud of free speech and realize it is the foundation of what makes us great. Champions of individual rights do not have to disavow the speaker(s) every time someone says something. It is irrelevant to the principle of free speech.
The actual danger to individual rights are violent opponents of free speech, whether those opponents try to shut down those with which I agree or not. In this regard, the actual danger is the global, well funded, ANTIFA, which has been violently shutting down speakers around the world, along with the unwillingness of government and local police to protect their victims.  In some cases, orders for the police to stand down appear to be orchestrated by dimwitted leftist politicians who, in turn, are cheered on by their intellectual masters in universities and the MSM.  If you explicitly or implicitly allow groups like ANTIFA to shut down the most extreme groups, who will decide where they draw the line? Of course, this principle is on full display as ANTIFA has violently shut down speeches by even moderate conservatives or libertarians on college campuses and elsewhere. Who is next?
ANTIFA, and their apologists, which is the entire left, local governments, and the MSM with very few exceptions, are the problem. If the police do not begin to protect the rights of individuals and groups to peaceably dissent or to hold peaceful lectures, those groups will be forced to defend themselves, and we will be on the verge of a civil war, if we are not already. Voltaire said "I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." This is the principle that needs to be learned from these events.

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