Source: The New Democrat
“Reason’s Nick Gillespie talks to former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen about the importance of free speech.”
From Reason Magazine
To paraphrase USA Today political columnist and CNN political analyst Kirsten Powers, I’m a free speech nut. Meaning I don’t put many limits on what free Americans can say about anything in America or anywhere else. Other than what Nadine Strossen said in this interview where she says you can’t incite violence and call for harm against personal property and individuals. You can’t falsely accuse someone without consequences. You can’t harass someone and leave horrible messages on their phone without consequences, or get in their face after the individual made it clear to you that they don’t want to talk to you and have already moved to get away from you. You’re free to yell at that person as they move away from you, but you can’t try to force anyone to listen to what you have to say about them or anyone else.
But when you live in a liberal democracy and you know what liberal democracy is actually about, you know you’re going to be living in a country where some people there at least aren’t very bright. Perhaps they flunked out of junior high, perhaps they’re one beer short of a keg, got kicked out of every mental institution that tried to help them or simply simply escaped from every mental institution known to man. They’re people out there that are simply stupid or crazy, or a combination of those things and view some humans as animals that deserved to be treated as such. Or that women should be slaves to men, at least Caucasian men. Or gays are really just mental patients, or perhaps don’t even deserve to be alive. You’re going to be sharing a free society with people who believe that only they the hateful nuts, deserve to live in freedom.
Americans simply have the right to make assholes out of themselves, except for the exceptions I’ve already laid out and when you live in a country of 320 million people you’re going to have a lot of assholes. Especially when that country is a liberal democracy and broader free society. The way you combat hate speech is the same way you combat ignorance which is through education. You teach the ignorant or at least try to and explain why the asshole is an asshole and has views that could have only been dreamed up in the greatest pot fantasy in the history of the universe. And is so out-of-touch with reality that they live in a different universe mentally.
I’m in the camp that I’ll fight to death every American’s right to free speech even if I disagree with it and will fight to the death to preserve some asshole’s right to free speech, because I don’t want some other asshole ( especially elected assholes ) trying to shut me up either civilly or through government force when I say something that may tend to offend someone else. Once you pass laws that offensive speech is now illegal, you’ve just created a new highway of potential new offensive speech laws that now anyone could create or use to fight free speech that they disagree with. Which could include laws passed against racial and ethnic minorities when they say offensive things and do offensive things against majorities in America. Which is something the so-called political correctness warriors on the Far-Left haven’t thought through or even considered which is political correctness laws could be used against them. Free speech and education, are always the answers to ignorance.