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Free Speech

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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

The editorial board of the New York Times created quite a controversy with their editorial on free speech. One critic called for a correction followed by a mass resignation. Others wanted the editorial board to retract their statement and then resign. What caused this commotion?

The editors argued the “America Has a Free Speech Problem.” You can read the editorial for yourself and will probably conclude that their argument had many salient points. “For all the tolerance and enlightenment that modern society claims, Americans are losing hold of a fundamental right as citizens of a free country: the right to speak their minds and voice their opinions in public without fear of being shamed or shunned.”

The editors also went on to talk about “cancel culture” and the devastating impact it has on free speech. In a poll they commissioned, they found that only a third (34%) of Americans said they believe that all Americans enjoyed freedom of speech completely. On the other hand, nearly half (46%) said they felt less free to talk about politics compared to a decade ago.

They also reminded their readers that a “full-throated defense of free speech was once a liberal ideal. Many of the legal victories that expanded the realm of permissible speech in the United States came in defense of liberal speakers against the power of the government.” As I have mentioned before, liberals may still believe in free speech, but the left does not.

Of course, the editors had to take a shot at conservatives, so they reminded their readers that Republican-controlled legislatures were limiting discussion of certain topics in grade schools. But young children don’t need to be exposed to every controversial idea about race and gender. Unfortunately, universities are often shielding college students from a robust discussion of those very same issues.

The New York Times is right. America has a free speech problem.viewpoints new web version

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