Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Speech Or Silence: War Has Been Declared.

If there was any doubt that free speech is under assault in this country, those doubts are fully and permanently laid to rest. Free speech--the underpinning of all free societies--has been declared the root of all evil in the eyes of some.

We have Texas Representative Joaquin Castro warning supporters of President Trump to "think twice" about donating to the President's re-election campaign.

We have CNN contributor Reza Aslan tweeting out for the literal genocide of all Trump supporters. This is not an exaggeration:

Reza Aslan got this much right -- there is no room for nuance. Free speech is a moral imperative. Far more than mere words in the First Amendment to the Constitution, the right of free speech, the principle of free speech, is at the very essence of what it means to have a free society. We cannot be free in our thoughts, we cannot be free in our daily lives, if we are not free first of all to speak our minds, to express our own opinions, to champion those causes we deem good and noble and just. Without the freedom of speech, we are not free, period.

Equally imperative is the freedom to be heard. As we cherish our ideas, we naturally seek to share and promote these ideas. I write this blog and comment on social media under the name of this blog precisely because I want to articulate and advocate for those ideas that I hold and which I cherish. We cannot share our ideas if we are blocked from so doing. We cannot promote causes we deem to be good and noble and just if we are silenced. For us to enjoy the freedom of speech, there must be a concurrent freedom to be heard--ultimately, they are two sides of the same coin.

When Reza Aslan calls for President Trump's supporters to be "eradicated", when he indulges in the language of genocide, he is seeking to silence all 63 million-plus people who voted for Donald Trump in 2016, and who will vote for him again in 2020. By seeking their permanent silence--arguably their literal deaths--Reza Aslan is engaged in a most immoral bit of speech.

When Joaquin Castro warns President Trump's supporters to "think twice" about supporting Trump, he is similarly seeking to silence those people, and is similarly engaged in a most immoral bit of speech.

There is no room for nuance in this: Reza Aslan's tweet was evil. Joaquin's doxing of Trump supporters was evil. Apologetics and rationalizations issued in defense of these statements and actions are evil. They are nothing but evil. There is no defense to be made, no justification to be offered, that makes these statements anything but evil.

Reza Aslan and Joaquin Castro have declared war on free speech. Not only have they not been called to account by the legacy media, they have been justified by the legacy media; "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski defended Castro's doxing of Trump supporters by claiming the information was already being circulated. Twitter, the Big Tech social media giant always at the epicenter of these controversies, refused to do anything about either Aslan or Castro, claiming their execrable tweets did not violate Twitter's terms of service. 

The legacy media, Big Tech social media, and the Democratic Party as a whole, have aligned themselves with these attacks on free speech. By their silence and by their words, they approve of and support this war to silence dissenting voices. By their silence and by their words, they are in favor of this war to silence you, to silence me, to silence all of us.

There is no room for nuance in this: There is no more room for either debate or disagreement on this topic. There is no middle ground where the nexus of our disagreements can coalesce into either social practice or government policy. That middle ground--the holy ground for all rationally-minded individuals--has been taken away. You are given one of two choices--you may meekly accept the diktats of liberals such as Reza Aslan, and Democrats such as Joaquin Castro, or you may be eradicated. 

This is the binary choice Aslan and Castro present to you. This is the binary choice the legacy media, Big Tech social media, and the Democrats present to you. They will hear no reasons, they will engage in no debates, they will brook no dissent and most assuredly no opposition. They will, if they can, destroy you. They will, if they can, "eradicate" you.

There will be no compromise. There will be no toleration. There will be no accommodation. You will agree or you will be eradicated. You will submit or you will be eradicated. You will obey or you will be eradicated.

There is no room for nuance in this. There will be no compromise in this. Nor, I fear, will there be any peace because of this. Liberals such as Reza Aslan and Democrats such as Joaquin Castro have declared themselves an existential threat to all who think differently from them. They are the mortal enemies of all who deviate from their orthodoxies by so much as a syllable. Being committed to the destruction of their opponents, they leave those opponents little choice but to destroy them. The dangerous flaw in all rhetoric of "us" vs "them" is that there is no assurance the "us" will prevail over the "them"; Messrs Aslan and Castro may speak with impunity today, but as their adversaries number in the tens of millions, once battle has been joined they may not find the fighting as facile as the tweeting.

Indeed, they ultimately cannot prevail, for the moral imperative is free speech, not oppression. Human beings are called to liberty, not condemned to slavery. We are meant to live in free societies, not relegated to tyranny and servitude. The moral imperative is free speech, and, as history shows, it is an imperative that will not be denied. From the Scots' Declaration of Arbroath to the Declaration of Independence, to the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the impetus of human civilization has always been towards freedom. However fitfully we may move, invariably we move towards liberty. 

Democrats demand your silence or demand your death. Rather than engage in speech with others, they compel this immoral choice.

The moral choice is quite clear. When Democrats demand your silence or demand your death, the only moral choice--the only sane choice--is to be neither silent nor dead. 

Speak out. Speak loudly. Speak proudly. Do not be silent. Ever.

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