Newt Gingrich suggested that some restrictions be put on the First Amendment to prevent our rights from being used against us by terrorists.
Here’s what Newt said:
My view is that either before we lose a city, or if we are truly stupid after we lose a city, we will adopt rules of engagement that we use every technology we can find to break up their capacity to use the Internet, to break up their capacity to use free speech, and to go after people who want to kill us, to stop them from recruiting people before they get to reach out and convince young people to destroy their lives while destroying us.
It’s an unfortunate statement, especially if Newt wants to run for President in 2008. But while unfortunate, Newt has it right. Terrorists use the freedoms of free society to attack that society. Of course, nobody’s going to see it that way. All we’ll hear is “break up their capacity to use free speech”.
So Newt is in the wrong about disrupting speech that could foster attacks against Americans and other innocents around the world by Jihadis.
Now let’s look at a story by Cinnamon Stillwell over at SFGate.com.
America’s college campuses, once thought to be bastions of free speech, have become increasingly intolerant toward the practice. Visiting speakers whose views do not conform to the prevailing left-leaning political mind-set on most campuses are at particular risk of having their free speech rights infringed upon. While academia has its own crimes to atone for, it’s the students who have become the bullies as of late. A disturbing number seem to feel that theirs is an inviolate world to which no one of differing opinion need apply. As a result, everything from pie throwing to disrupting speeches to attacks on speakers has become commonplace.
Yes, it’s shocking to hear this from someone living in San Francisco. Sit down, take a breather.
Cinnamon’s article reveals a right time, perceived by the Left, to stifle free speech. Go to the PuffingTons Host and you’ll find people who want Dick Cheney to have a heart attack or scientists to be muzzled. The take home message: it’s bad to curtail free speech to stop terrorism, but it’s good to stop right-wing blowhards from speaking at all.
And Keith Olberman has the gall to say “If you’re going to destroy freedom of speech, bub, you’ve already lost all the cities.” Well, it’s obvious we’re losing all the colleges.
On a personal note, I recently attended a sensitivity seminar on cultural diversity. It was a seven hour ordeal that was rather condescending. The worst part was one of the workshop leaders (obviously the driving force behind the meeting) kept make snide remarks, insensitive remarks, towards white conservative men. Effectively, it’s bad to be moronically insensitive to any minority group, but it’s OK to be that insensitive if the group is white males.
So much for equality in education.
(Cinnamon Stillwell has a blog, too. Read it here. )