The Price Behind Freedom of Speech in America

The price of free speechIn the 1980’s the Canadian rock band Rush released a song called “Subdivisions”.  In that song Geddy Lee lamented over the notion that lifestyles were being compartmentalized.  Those who chose to deviate from the accepted norms were dispensed with as irrelevant.   In his words, “conform or be cast out”.  In today’s America conformance is the price tag of free speech.  In other words, you are free to speak as you like, but make sure it conforms to the politically correct standards.

Permanence, Retribution, and Labeling

Why do many people have an underlying fear of exercising free speech?  The answer is simple.  There is retribution associated with being on the wrong side of an issue.  The retribution may come in various forms: social, political, or professional.  But there is a price to pay.  Moreover, there seems to be no statute of limitations for thoughts or words that have been uttered.

The ante is definitely increased with the impact and permanence of social media.  Labeling is a nasty weapon that is often wielded by those in favor of a politically correct society.  If you disagree with the amount spent on welfare, you must be unsympathetic to the poor.  If you question affirmative action policies, you must be a racist.  Labeling and retribution have ruined careers.

The Hypocrisy of Liberals

Given the rich history of liberals and libertarians, it may come as a surprise to learn that modern liberals are some of the biggest violators of abridging freedom of speech and thought.  John Stuart Mill would turn over in his grave if he knew how some of his liberal comrades were carrying on the principles associated with freedom.  Part of the liberal hypocrisy is found in the deviation from the original understanding of the self.  In early liberal thought the individual was the focal point.  Individuals had freedoms and rights, i.e. speech, life, religion, or property.  Government was viewed as a necessary evil and ultimately seen as a protector of those rights.  For years, however, modern liberals have compartmentalized individuals into monolithic groups based upon gender, race, ethnicity, or religion.  This has allowed the modern liberal to create classes and ultimately victim groups.

The Victimization of America

It would be an understatement to say that America is becoming a society of victims.  To concretize the point, the city of Seattle recently issued an internal memo to its city employees banning the words “brown bag” and “citizen” in any correspondence or discussion.  The city’s Office of Civil Rights determined that some employees could find these words offensive.  What’s next?  Will they ban “lunch box” and “worker”?  After all, worker could have a Marxist undertone that would remind employees that they are being stripped of the fruits of their labor by greedy capitalist entities.  Wait!  On second thought that could be just what Seattle is looking for to spark the revolution.

The Bottom Line

This is not Russia or Germany in the 1940’s.  Citizens in a free and spirited democracy should not have to live in fear that they will utter the wrong word or make an offensive comment and face retribution or labeling.  The continual allure of group identification is making us a country of victims and ultimately damages our freedom of speech.

Wayne Bradley · Conservative is Cool · Blog · Interviews · Digital Marketing · Donate