Free Speech

December 21, 2021- Speakers at a Right-wing convention, in Phoenix, have offered both plausible and ridiculous points of view, over the past two days. I did not attend the gathering, but do find it a good idea to keep an eye on the proceedings. An informed citizen keeps abreast of what all fellow countrymen are thinking and saying.

I concur with Voltaire, and Evelyn Beatrice Hall , in defending the right of a person to say whatever is in mind-with the caveat that threats representing a danger to self and others require the notification of public authority. Said authority should keep watch on those who advocate violence and act to prevent such violence.

Thankfully, thus far, Charlie Kirk and company have not used this particular forum to encourage hateful acts against their opposite numbers. There have been calls for avoiding university-level education ( a questionable appeal to self-education, at best), which I view as an excessive reaction to the real and imagined “speech codes” that some have intellectuals on the Left have either suggested or instituted. IMHO, it is education, enlightenment, that will eliminate microaggressions and untoward speech aimed at People of Colour, immigrants and sexual minorities. Codified speech only lends credence to otherwise bogus claims of “reverse” racism, sexism, etc., by those on the Far Right. Patience remains a virtue, to some degree.

Similarly, I defend the right of Christians to wish others a Merry Christmas, and of those others to say “Happy Holidays”, or to offer no seasonal greetings at all. No set of words, or lack thereof, should be taken personally by the hearer.

Freedom of speech is sacrosanct. Liberty of action is an entirely separate matter, and one whose contents pre-suppose acceptance of logical consequences. May the Turning Point USA convocation end peacefully, with the knowledge that the best will win the ongoing contest of ideas.

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