Wednesday, November 30, 2016

FREE SPEECH ISN'T VERY POPULAR. Katherine Timpf doesn't believe Donald Trump is the champion for free speech his supporters want
First of all, let me say that I completely understand the desire to want to stop the influence of the so-called snowflakes from spreading. It’s gotten ridiculous, and there are new examples of just how ridiculous it is coming out every single day. For example, just recently, Tufts University’s student government rejected a free-speech measure that would have eliminated the college’s restrictions on speech, including “hurtful words,” “bias-fueled jokes,” and “comments on an individual’s body or appearance” on the grounds that allowing these things could be “unsafe.” Obviously, these are insane restrictions — taken literally, these rules would mean someone wouldn’t even have the right to come up to me and tell me that he likes my sweater without risking a violation.

What’s more, I can also understand why people might automatically see Donald Trump as the guy we can count on to fight against our culture becoming one that’s subject to the kind of restrictions that are in place at Tuft’s. After all, Trump is the guy who said, “I think the big problem that this country has is being politically correct,” and who talked about that “big problem” nearly every chance he got.

But ask yourself: When Donald Trump is also flippantly tweeting about taking people’s citizenship away for burning flags, can we really be so sure?

If, as his tweet suggests, Trump really does want to enact the equivalent of “speech codes” for the country — and really does want to send people to jail for violating them — then is he really on the side of free speech at all? Many people complain that liberals’ so-called safe spaces only claim to be “tolerant” and “accepting,” when really they are only ”tolerant” and “accepting” of views like their own. As soon as someone says something they disagree with, then it’s hate speech and must be punished. Isn’t Trump doing the same thing? Free speech for me and for those who support me — even when it’s offensive —  but speech that I deem hateful must be punished. 

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