Liberals no longer hiding contempt of free speech

Wow, this was a banner week for liberals and their “tolerance” of differing opinions, proving again that liberalism cannot survive open and honest debate.

First of all Charles Krauthammer, a columnist and Fox News contributor, found himself in hot water with the global warming crowd, who demanded that the Washington Post refuse to publish his column on climate change. They claim their beliefs are “settled science” while Krauthammer’s are “lies.” For the record, he writes an opinion column. Opinion.

Then there was the disclosure of the FCC “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” which will “measure community members’ actual and perceived critical information needs.” Hmm, so apparently what you think you need to know is not what the government thinks you need to know. This study, approved by the FCC’s Democratic majority, will include monitors sent to newsrooms to ask questions regarding the “philosophy” of the newsroom and grilling individuals as to how they decide what to report.

From the world of elite college academia, where rejection of intellectual freedom is particularly acute, Swarthmore College student Erin Ching pulled no punches in telling it like she saw it when her school had the temerity to allow a Christian conservative, Robert George, to speak on campus: “What really bothered me is, the whole idea is that at a liberal arts college, we need to be hearing a diversity of opinion. I don’t think we should be tolerating [George’s] conservative views because that dominant culture embeds these deep inequalities in our society.”

Another model of tolerance is Harvard student and Harvard Crimson columnist Sandra Korn, who came out and said what many other liberals are thinking — that free speech actually threatens liberalism. Yes, Korn, in no uncertain terms, demanded that the university stop guaranteeing professors and students the right to hold controversial views or pursue research “promoting or justifying oppression.” Her column’s subtitle got right to the point: “Let’s give up on academic freedom in favor of justice.”

Demonizing and marginalizing the other side is the usual route so many liberals take. They declare what is right and wrong. People who disagree with them are dangerous, ignorant, haters, racists, etc. Far from seeing freedom of speech as a blessing of liberty, they revile it, no longer hiding their contempt for the First Amendment — unless of course the protected speech is ideologically pure, indoctrination material to their liking.

If their views were defensible, this “do what I say, learn what I say, hear and read what I say, think what I tell you to think, behave how I tell you to” crowd should be welcoming debate. In a country founded on the right to speak your mind, they can question without consequence. But instead of engaging in an honest discussion, one which could lead to enlightenment on both sides, they take the lazy way out and promote censorship. They bully, they pressure, they threaten, they intimidate, they name call — but they won’t engage in debate.

Can book burning be far behind?

Why, after years of herculean effort, have liberal radio shows made virtually no headway while, Rush, Sean and Glenn are so popular people recognize them by first name alone? (Television is a much different format, although Fox News is eating its competitors’ lunches.)

Because to be successful over time, the host has to provide an in-depth, rigorous analysis of the issues, presented logically hour after hour, day after day, and be able to defend and support these arguments with callers, some of whom may be in vigorous disagreement. Liberals have a name for this kind of consistent, principled opinion programming: hate radio.

And therein lies the intractable problem for liberals — they so seldom defend or explain their views in a rational manner. You cannot defend anything based on feelings. You cannot defend anything based on false assumptions or outright lies. Arguments based on feelings and lies don’t withstand scrutiny.

I was recently at another stick-it-to-the-taxpayers rally of one of Maine’s largest extremist, left-wing organizations, the Maine People’s Alliance. As usual, we were jostled, jeered and called names by the MPA crowd. But a lovely man who genuinely wanted honest discourse came up to us afterward. As we concluded our very respectful conversation, he smiled and said, “Well, I guess that’s where we differ. You have the facts, but I have the emotion.”

Exactly.

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Susan Dench

About Susan Dench

Susan Dench is the founder and president of the fast-growing non-profit, non-partisan Informed Women's Network. Recognizing that many women are tired of "politics as usual," Susan decided to take action and develop strategies that are innovating the way women and politics intersect, nurturing and encouraging women in fun, energetic gatherings where views can be expressed in a supportive environment and then translated into practical solutions that produce results.