Freedom of speech is one of our most basic of all liberties. The right to speak openly and honestly about the issues of the day is paramount to the functioning of our republic. It’s also the first right that tyrants attack and try to curtail. In recent weeks we’ve seen Twitter suspended Christian satire site The Babylon Bee & others for daring to state biological fact and conservative columnist & commentator Amber Athey fired from her radio job for a joke about the pant suit Vice President Kamala Harris’ wore to the State of the Union.
Which brings us to today’s collection of quotes on free speech.
The first from Frederick Douglass: “Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down.” reminds us that unless we can express our ideas & opinions openly, we are not free & that tyrants will always seek to silence dissenting voices first.
The second from Benjamin Franklin: “Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” reminds us that for tyrants to strip away our freedoms they must first strip away out right to speak freely.
The third from George Washington picks up on Franklin’s warning: “If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent, we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
The fourth from Thomas Paine reminds us that: “He who dares not offend cannot be honest.”
And the last comes from Justice Louis D. Brandeis’ 1927 concurring opinion in Whitney v. California: “If there be time to expose through discussion, the falsehoods and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”
Which brings us back to today… the modern left wants “enforced silence” they want to force dissenting voices from the public square. We can’t allow that to happen… the left loves to scream about “threats to our democracy”. Sadly, the greatest threat to democracy is their intolerance of dissenting opinions. Which I suppose is lost on them.