It is about something so obvious it is almost embarrassing to state. Free speech means hearing things you like and agree with, and it means allowing others to speak whose views you do not like or agree with. This--listening to the other person with respect and forbearance, and with an acceptance of human diversity--is the price we pay for living in a great democracy. And it is a really low price for such a great thing.Yeah, that's the ticket.
We all know this, at least in the abstract. Why are so many forgetting it in the particular?
Let us be more pointed. Students, stars, media movers, academics: They are always saying they want debate, but they don't. They want their vision imposed. They want to win. And if the win doesn't come quickly, they'll rush the stage, curse you out, attempt to intimidate.
And they don't always recognize themselves to be bullying. So full of their righteousness are they that they have lost the ability to judge themselves and their manner.
And all this continues to come more from the left than the right in America.
That's really what I object to in the current political climate. It's that dogged, I-will-have-my-say attitude, coupled with you-better-shut-up for their opponents.
I confess. I sometimes, in the heat of my passion for a topic, take over the floor, and fail to relinquish it. I like to think that I wouldn't rush the stage, as the Columbia students did, nor try to censor speech because the speaker mentions God.
Rosie, I won't deal with. She's the token loud-mouth ignorant, self-righteous fool. Who, unfortunately, uses her gayness as a club - you disagree with her? You must be homophobic - AND want all gays in concentration camps.
Right. And the fact that she gets in your face is just "style". Any words above a whisper are "yelling" when they are issued from a non-adoring mouth. Don't believe me? Check out the video yourself. What is disturbing about The View's debate is that everybody except Elizabeth Hasselbeck seems to accept gun control as necessary - and, by gun control, they mean, unless you can persuade the government that you have a reason to have a gun, your right to bear arms is revoked.
Let me be clear. I don't own guns. I don't use guns. I do know a little about guns, as my dad had them, for protection. He taught us to use them, then put them away. The few times I was allowed to shoot one, I did better than my brother. Mom, every careful to preserve her children's self-esteem, cautioned me to "let him win". Not bloody likely - I was always a competitive devil.
But I recognize that gun ownership is crucial for defense of rights, whether against burglars, rapists, or the government.
During that View segment, nobody directly addressed Hasselbeck's issue of 2nd Amendment rights. They talked about "the children", they derided the ownership of semi-automatic weapons, they mentioned the Brady Bill, and they talked about guns falling into criminal hands.
What they didn't talk about, and tried to keep Hasselbeck from debating, was the essential issue - do we, as Americans, have gun ownership rights?
The Constitution says we do.