“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”~Abraham Lincoln
You can close down a discussion (free speech) in many ways.
You can protest and riot thereby shutting down not only the speaker or event, but in the process one achieves the added impact of destroyed property, terrorized innocent citizens and (they hope) national media coverage. The extreme left on many campuses has done this to great effect.
You can simply call the person a racist. It does not matter whether or not it is true. In fact, yell the accusation loud enough and you might be able to provoke option number one above 👆! It is a wonderful strategy since it eliminates the need to memorize facts and figures, slower members of the group do not need to “think on their feet” or step outside of talking points and since racism is such an emotional issue it is uniquely difficult to fight even with facts. This also has had a great success rate and is a major reason that the Republican Party has been branded a party of racists when history and honest research proves otherwise.
Those are two of the radical ways, almost always employed by the more extremist democrats because they do not have a successful argument or any good endings for their ideology. If you “shut someone up”, if you close down an event, if you prevent the dissemination of an idea you are restricting everyone’s freedom. We all have the right and the freedom to listen to, and walk away from, speech and ideas of every sort.
No political party, No foreign national (think Soros paying protesters and rioters), No college academic or gang of students, Not even the government has the power to change our absolute rights under the Constitution! Free speech is number one in the Bill of Rights and its placement is an indication of the importance it held in the political discussions of the day. It was important in the discussions held in almost every state during the ratification process. We tend to take it for granted now, but this freedom can be nibbled away, gradually eroded without most citizens even paying attention.
Protected speech is not comfortable speech. Protected speech is usually different, objectionable to some, offensive to others, it may make you angry or it may make you stop and think. Protected speech is free speech not because it makes you uncomfortable but because the free expression of ideas is part of true Liberty.
Each generation is challenged to maintain and preserve our Constitution and Liberty. The circumstances differ and the environment, both social and political, changes. The younger generation has not been grounded in a complete history of this nation and it constantly amazes me how jaded and anti-American they can be. There is much about our history they just are not taught. Depending on the school, what they are actually taught varies from a slanted version of events to skipping over all but the darker parts of our history and then concentrating on those. All nations have them, they should be acknowledged and taught, but only in context with the rest of American History!
Without a more thorough and balanced approach to US history we will be missing at least one generation of patriotic and knowledgeable Americans to watch the politicians and fight for free speech and our other guaranteed rights.
So, will we have our rights and freedoms in twenty years?