It used to raise my blood pressure when I’d hear of groups trying to silence someone with whom they disagreed.
That’s become so commonplace I barely notice it anymore. But I should — we all should.
Setting aside the issue of our First Amendment (which too many people don’t really understand), the freedom to express an opinion, to discuss dissenting views, to challenge opinions in a respectful way are how we as a society can maintain our individual liberty and grow both individually and collectively.
That colleges choose commencement speakers based on the perspectives students consider acceptable, that speakers are shouted down by rude audiences and that politicians seek to control what’s reported by the media are all signs that our society is in a serious decline.
In “Free Speech: R.I.P.”, Robert Ringer writes:
Silencing the expression of an opinion is nothing less than theft. It’s not just stealing from the person who holds the opinion that others wish to silence, but also from those who are at odds with his opinion.
How so? Because if the opinion is right, those who disagree are deprived of the opportunity to learn why it is right. On the other hand, if it’s wrong, they lose the opportunity to exercise both their reasoning powers and their powers of persuasion to help the misguided person understand why his opinion is in error.
Click here to read the rest of his article.
My prediction: The people who succeed in silencing those with whom they disagree will ultimately be credited with the decline and eventual collapse of the United States.
My heart aches just thinking about it.