What with Brendan Eich being ousted from Mozilla for not agreeing with the Progressive Left on gay marriage, university professors calling for “climate change deniers” to be thrown in prison for their heresies (Galileo Galilei would be having a good chuckle about that), and the University of Michigan and Brandeis University caving to Islamist demands not to let a feminist atheist critic of Islam speak on their campuses… it’s pretty clear the Progressive … and especially, the “Academic” … Left has adopted a Zero Tolerance policy for speech that falls outside their Dogma.
The brilliant Mark Steyn wrote a brilliant essay on the topic.
I heard a lot of that kind of talk during my battles with the Canadian ‘human rights’ commissions a few years ago: of course, we all believe in free speech, but it’s a question of how you ‘strike the balance’, where you ‘draw the line’… which all sounds terribly reasonable and Canadian, and apparently Australian, too. But in reality the point of free speech is for the stuff that’s over the line, and strikingly unbalanced. If free speech is only for polite persons of mild temperament within government-policed parameters, it isn’t free at all. So screw that. [Emphasis Mine]
But I don’t really think that many people these days are genuinely interested in ‘striking the balance’; they’ve drawn the line and they’re increasingly unashamed about which side of it they stand. What all the above stories have in common, whether nominally about Israel, gay marriage, climate change, Islam, or even freedom of the press, is that one side has cheerfully swapped that apocryphal Voltaire quote about disagreeing with what you say but defending to the death your right to say it for the pithier Ring Lardner line: ‘“Shut up,” he explained.’
Here’s how it is, my pretties. People who are confident that they can win an argument don’t insist that the other side not be allowed to argue.