In the United States, free speechers and anti-free speechers have long been at odds. But lately, the battle has been getting more and more intense – and the anti-free speechers appear to be winning.
But why is free speech such a big deal anyway? Answer: because it’s supposed to be a safeguard against tyrannical government. So as the anti-free speechers gain momentum, tyrannical government also wins.
In theory, the way free speech is supposed to work is this: If every citizen of America were of one opinion and a single individual had another opinion, the majority would have no more moral right to silence the single dissenter than he (if he had the power to do so) would have to silence them.
Silencing the expression of an opinion is nothing less than theft. It’s not just stealing from the person who holds the opinion that others wish to silence, but also from those who are at odds with his opinion.
How so? Because if the opinion is right, those who disagree are deprived of the opportunity to learn why it is right. On the other hand, if it’s wrong, they lose the opportunity to exercise both their reasoning powers and their powers of persuasion to help the misguided person understand why his opinion is in error.