Freedom of speech includes the right to lie and make things up. That right is being threatened.
To make clear, one can’t lie under oath while in court. Laws against slander and libel are well settled. Truth in contracts and other legal agreements make common sense. As, too, is prohibiting speech which endangers human life. And that last exception is where everything falls apart.
Endangerment to liberals now means misinformation. On climate change, the Capitol riot, and especially on Covid. Covid’s greatest victim will be free speech.
But what is misinformation? Exactly. Information they don’t agree with.
Like following the science you choose to follow. In thinking the federal government planted stooges to egg on the Capitol rioters. That the Biden administration knows full well that Covid originated from a Chinese lab the United States was funding.
Misinformation is now moving to an idea where in which all speech gets fact-checked by news agencies and social media platforms. The nexus between endangerment and free speech has been lost.
That is, unless you are crazy enough to suggest that we prohibit such speech because it might cause harm to others in the long run. Everything in life is probably harmful in the long run.
This concept of fact checking everything to match a certain point of view has reached a peak with climate change, where censors outlaw an entire community of thought.
Climate change deniers are drummed out of their universities and blacklisted from further climate research. Their speeches get cancelled, their movies and videos pulled off of social. The major media outlets ignore them.
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. If I want to say that Democrats in Washington D.C. are gripped by mass hysteria, then I should be able to publicly say that anywhere.
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 a tad insane. That, though, is my opinion and I won’t be bothering you with it when you listen to him. Compare that to a social media company which may in fact try to warn you against him like your mother might.
I have little time for flat earth people, moon landing conspiracies, or holocaust deniers but, please, let me make up my own mind.
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.