Freedom of speech includes the right to lie and make things up. That right is now being threatened.
The prohibition against slander and libel is well settled in the law. Contracts must be truthful although they are always written to favor one side. Most of the law’s insistence on truth in specific cases makes common sense. As is the illegality of endangerment to human life.
Following that, however, politically correct censors want to say that heated speech is an incitement to violence. That is, heated speech they disagree with. Perhaps they fear another Boston Tea Party. They should.
Legal and common sense exceptions aside, why are we moving to a society in which we are fact-checked by news agencies and social media platforms? Groups that use information as they see it, not the facts as I may see them or the ones I choose to use.
What happened to the Loch Ness Monster and Big Foot? Can I write about them without a note saying no proof of Nessie exists? If I want to say I won an election, well, let me say it. (On a personal note, I was just elected president of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.)
Why can’t people make up their own minds? This isn’t the Dark Ages when the Church of Rome told us what to think. Or is it?
Or, are we in a new Dark Age? The death of inquiry and disagreement? Academia seems lost. Can an outspoken conservative professor, for example, ever be tenured at any University of California campus?
As much as I disagree with Louis Farrakhan, he is a gifted orator and I like to hear him talk. He is also half-crazy. That, though, is my opinion and I won’t be bothering you with it when you listen to him. Our present nanny-state, however, will.
These censorship zealots think they are smarter than you. You are too dumb to make a decision on your own. We have to help you or, in some cases, make the decision outright for you. I have little time for flat earth people, moon landing conspiracies, or holocaust deniers but, please, let me make up my own mind.
It goes further, of course, when the censors decide to outlaw an entire community of thought like climate change. Climate change deniers can’t be tolerated at all, not just simply censored. Oh, if we weren’t so stupid, the world would be easier for them. I dearly miss William F. Buckley, as no liberal could ever call him stupid. No one yet takes his place.
Although this quote has been attributed to many people and in many forms, the sum of it rings true: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Today, not so much.