There was a time in this country when liberals were the ones who called for free speech. They marched for it. They fought for it. Berkeley Free Speech – Berkeley – was a real thing. Now however the sons and daughters of this crowd have embraced the totalitarianism their parents and grandparents fought against. It’s not supposed to be totalitarianism. It’s supposed to be “inclusive.” But we stare now at a mini-dark age in academia and in the media. Voices are being silenced. Thought is being crushed. Questioning snuffed out.
You see language is supposed to determine “framing.” Those who control the “framing” get to control society. As such many people who do not like the results of a free society, one where people are free to think and speak as they wish, have sought to control the framing mechanism via what is often called “political correctness.”
PC is anti-intellectual. It is small minded. It is simple minded. And it is a tool used to rein in those who for whatever reason excel. It is a weapon of the intelligent dim. That is people who are smart enough to get into Yale but not smart enough to find their way out of the sociology and linguistics departments.
You think I’m being flip but I am not. PC is a tool of the perpetually aggrieved, of whiners, the entitled, and the just not too smart. Not DUMB. But not smart. Think bureaucrats.
(From The Federalist)
Some poll numbers suggest as much: two-thirds of Americans, for instance, think people who engage in “hate speech” are “more dangerous” than the people who would censor it. Among younger Americans—millennials—the polls indicate a staggering opposition to freedom of speech: out of 800 students polled at colleges across the country, more than a third believed the First Amendment does not protect “hate speech,” with a third also claiming the First Amendment is “outdated;” more than half believe colleges should have speech codes to police the speech of students and professors.
Forty percent of millennials, meanwhile, think government should be able to censor “offensive statements about minorities.” Indeed, millennials appear to be the most censorious generation alive. As older generations die off or become less politically active, we can assume that more and more anti-free speech millennials will make up a larger and larger share of the electorate.
All of which is to say: if we are worried about the anti-free speech ambitions of our two presidential candidates and the parties they represent, we should also be concerned about the American body politic, a substantial percentage of which is greatly inclined to censor “offensive” speech. A generation so inclined to muzzle its fellow Americans could pose an existential threat to the First Amendment.