Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Free Speech. Yes, But How?

Radio host Dennis Prager reminds us just how unfree we are when it comes to free speech. In America, you don't say anything that might offend left-wing ears, because it can get you into trouble.

In the past generation, the left has controlled so much speech and behavior that these controls are now assumed to be a normal part of life.

There's the telling point: "a normal part of life." And frankly, if you are a corporate exec, or an employee in a medium-to-large corporation, it would be disloyal to your employer to breach the left-wing speech codes. You might be willing to get yourself in trouble, but that is not the end of the story. For sure, your local HR department will be all over you like a cheap suit if you say the wrong thing. But your frankness can get your employer in trouble. And the fact is that most of us, the 80 percent of Americans who are not liberal, don't feel that our employer has it coming. We know how hard it is to create a profitable company, and we know how hard it is to keep a company profitable. So we really don't want to do anything that could harm our employer and get him in trouble with the PC police.

But the fact is that you can't say "Merry Christmas"; you can't talk about "innate differences between men and women"; you can't talk about black violence; you can't criticize homosexuality. It gets down to the bizarre. Apparently they are now Photoshopping out cigars from Churchill photos and cigarettes from FDR photos and Beatles photos.

What's to be done? Writes Prager:

If you love liberty, you must target the left and put its totalitarian tendencies in your cross hairs. We must shoot down political correctness and wage a crusade for truth and liberty.

That means that nice people have to get a little nasty. When you are around your liberal friends you have to short out the censor, and talk as if men and women are different, Christianity is a good thing, homosexuality is problematic, blacks have bought themselves a problem by living on the liberal plantation. And so on.

If you don't have the courage to violate the liberal speech codes you can try irony and code words. Just a couple of days ago, I exchanged greetings with an older couple, and we commented on the snow storms up north. "Global warming," I said. "Climate chaos" came the replay.

My own strategy is to turn the left's words against them, using their slogans to mean something different. And I always make it a point to talk about "girl stuff" and "boy stuff" when the opportunity arises.

But it still comes down to courage. We have to refuse to play the left's game. We have to "speak truth to power."


  1. You conservatives amuse me with your instant attitude of victimhood when someone criticizes or argues against you. Do you really have it that bad? You have the luxury of only having to worry about whether someone criticizes you. Liberals, on the other hand, have to worry if someone is going to shoot them. The casualty count of liberals and police shot by anti-government types keeps growing, but conservatives are the ones that keep whining about how they're the victims.

  2. It is an ancient left-wing custom to see enemies in every corner, to accuse them without any factual base, to express rage when truth's perceived to be on the other side. And by the way going "anonymous" is the tactic of those who used to spy for socialist/communist secret service agencies. Times are changing, old habits die hard. Same strokes for different folks. The President's call for civility was addressed to the likes of you and the good sheriff of Pima county too.