by Greg Krehbiel on 17 April 2014
As I read The slow death of free speech: How the Left, here and abroad, is trying to shut down debate — from Islam and Israel to global warming and gay marriage I started to wonder where the right is doing this sort of thing.
Isn’t speech censorship coming almost exclusively from the left these days? Shouldn’t liberals be concerned about this?
It seems to me that liberalism has an advantage in the public square, and that advantage is that it doesn’t have the same restraints that conservatives impose on themselves.
Conservatives, for example, may hate the way the BLM is treating ranchers in Nevada, but they believe in the rule of law, so they’ll admit that Bundy is in the wrong. IOW, while conservatives have policy goals and objectives they would like to pursue, they temper these things against a broader array of concerns.
Clearly not all conservatives behave this way. Some will grasp onto any reed-thin justification for “their side.” But I see this sort of principled restraint on the right far more than I see it on the left.
Liberals don’t seem to be constrained by such things. They’re not thinking about free speech rights as they shout down the campus speaker. They don’t care about accuracy and honesty when they demagogue on women’s pay, or gun control. Barack Obama can be against gay marriage, and two years later accuse people who are against gay marriage of being bigots, and somehow that makes sense to a liberal.
Here’s how I understand this. If you have a better explanation, please enlighten me.
“Progressive” really is the better word for liberals, because everything is about moving towards some goal. The means don’t really matter. If we have to trample on some people in the process, or break some rules, well … you have to break some eggs to make an omelet.
Shouting down the campus speaker makes sense because they’re trying to create a world in which such ideas aren’t considered. This vague concept of “free speech” is far less important than the immediate concern of eliminating hate, or … whatever.
-- 2014-04-17 » Greg Krehbiel