Sunday, November 17, 2019

Free Speech MUST be protected

Recently, I have seen many news articles about people who are either wearing pro-Trump t-shirts or those who have taken drastic action against those who do.  So why am I writing this post?  Simple, Freedom of Speech MUST be preserved, no matter what.

I am no fanboy of Trump, nor do I feel the oligarchy of US politics is something others should emulate.  America is a great country. I have many friends in the US and abroad who carry US passports.  

Here are some examples of attacks on free speech:

4.  NH Student Told to Cover Up Trump T-Shirt at School

The idea of censoring a persons right to free speech is dangerous!  One of the hardest things any human might undertake is to protect the right of free speech for those who have a message they do not agree with.  While it may seem distasteful, I urge you all to consider the alternative, a totalitarian society whereby no one can speak their true thoughts.  Despite the arguments, disagreements, at least we are free to have such conversations.

It is important to remember that free speech is not-aligned with any specific political movement.  While you may find the very idea of Trump offensive (I am not a fan), it is important to recognize that freedom of speech has no limits, no bounds.  As such I will tolerate his statements.  We must also accept his followers messages, even if we do not agree with the substance.

Yes, there are arguments that shouting "fire" in a crowded movie theatre is probably problematic, yet at the end of the day, my personal belief is that it is a very slippery slope.  You start by banning opinion X, next comes a ban on opinion X divided by 0.9, then 0.8 etc etc. Eventually, we are all faced with a few degrees of separation.

Free speech is without limits.  My plea is for all who read this to reconsider their commitment to furthering their own causes, but within the realm of protection of free speech.  Today, we find ourselves in a democracy.  The current leader of the USA, no matter what you think of him, is making decisions that many do not agree with.  Censoring those who think his actions are correct is a very dangerous idea.  Some day, the tables may be turned.