In the year 1783, just seven years after America officially declared its independence from the crown, George Washington famously proclaimed, “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” Even though this statement was made well over two centuries ago, it is quite possibly more relevant today than it ever has been. Political censorship has spread like a plague in recent years, infecting everything from the mainstream media to Hollywood, from college campuses to the Internet. If the freedom of speech is not stood up for and defended, then it will inevitably continue to erode until an all-powerful authoritative state is established. By that point, it will be too late.
It is worth noting that there is a fundamental difference between how conservatives view the freedom of speech and how progressives view the freedom of speech. Most conservatives feel that there should be very few restrictions on free speech so as to preserve the circle of liberty around every American. Conservatives understand that political suppression was one of the primary reasons our Founding Fathers fought a revolution and broke free from the King’s rule, and as such, they are very wary about the growing tyranny of ideological censorship.
Progressives, on the other hand, are far less strict in their interpretation of the freedom of speech. Most of the time they will acknowledge what the Constitution says, but insist that they have the authority to regulate it. In other words, free speech only goes as far as the left allows it to go, which quite frankly, isn’t much different from the mentality that was held by King George when he ruled over the colonies. Not that the progressives care very much, but this flies in the face of what America was founded upon. Widespread political censorship is turning our country into something that it was never supposed to become.
The thing about progressivism is that it moves very slowly; so slowly, in fact, that most Americans don’t notice how much our country has changed even in just the past few decades. It’s a bit like gaining weight – on a day-by-day basis, you most likely won’t notice that you’re getting bigger, but when you look at old photos of yourself from a year ago and compare them to how you look in the mirror, the difference is suddenly clear.
To erode the freedom of speech in America, the left uses this very strategy. They slowly and patiently chip away at free speech, gradually introducing more and more political censorship in the United States until one day it doesn’t exist at all.
A recent article published on PJ Media written by columnist Paula Bolyard explained how the suppression of free speech on the Internet and the banning of domain names in the name of “combating hate speech” might just be setting us on a slippery slope downwards towards a country that more closely resembles George Orwell’s 1984 than anything else. (Related: Portland mayor wants to label all opinions he doesn’t agree with as “hate speech” and ban them.)
“Where could all this lead?” Bolyard asks, referring to Internet censorship. “What’s to stop GoDaddy (which is the domain name registrar for PJM) from deciding to stop providing services to other sites that the mob decides shouldn’t exist?” Bolyard went on to write, “In a day when the terms ‘racist’ and ‘hate speech’ have been redefined to include basically anything that the left disagrees with, conservatives could easily find themselves in the crosshairs.”
Indeed, one could argue that conservatives already are in the crosshairs. Many are not aware of just how serious this assault on the freedom of speech has become, and unless We the People wake up soon, one day in the not-so-distant future, individual liberty will be no more.