Horatio

Horatio
[Photo by Jacquelyn Griffin)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Voltaire Wept

I can't think of a single subject I agree with Ann Coulter on, and, in fact, I think her ideas are abhorrent. She's not as dangerous as, say, Ayn Rand, who has found a way of justifying humanity's most base urges to many, but she's a glib bomb-thrower., and almost a living parody of everything tha's wrong with the Right.

Silencing her is not liberal. Or progressive. Or anything good.

In purely instrumental terms, it's counterproductive--it's a data point for those who claims the "left" (a unified group, right?) don't really believe in free speech, sure, but it's worse than that: It's a betrayal of what we hold dear.

If we really believe in the democratic republic created by our Constitution, then we have to believe in freedom for the thought we hate. And silencing by threat or force those with whom we disagree with, however evil we think their views, is a betrayal of the very premise of the Constitution--that We, the people, should choose what ideas to embrace or to reject.

I recently quoted Karl Alexander's novel Time After Time: "The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas." I believe this; if violence and threats are the new response to thought that we hate, then we are saying something utterly damning about the state of our discourse and of democracy.

And admitting that we are out of ideas.

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