Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Liberal Version of Free Speech

Ann Coulter spoke to a crowd of 2,600 people at the University of Connecticut tonight. Unfortunately, many of those 2,600 people decided to talk back. According to an Associated Press report:
... Ann Coulter gave up trying to finish a speech at the University of Connecticut on Wednesday night when boos and jeers from the audience became overwhelming. Coulter cut off the talk after 15 minutes and instead held a half-hour question-and-answer session.
The crowd's reaction raises the question; just what constitutes "free speech".

Coulter is known worldwide for her unabashed remarks against liberals in the media, in Congress, and around the world. She is a known satirist, but the left assiduously regards her satirical remarks as being her actual viewpoints. For example, the aforementioned AP report mentions one question during the Q&A session asking if she truly was against women's suffrage. The report states:
"Not having women vote is a joke," she said, reversing comments she has previously made.
Indeed, Coulter said a few years ago that "[I]t would be a much better country if women did not vote." Therefore, considering her history as a satirist, wouldn't it seem logical to interpret her remark to the questioner at UConn as meaning that her comment was intended to be taken as satire?! Honestly, does anyone seriously believe she wants to take away her own right to vote?

Back to the point at hand, why is it that the left in this country has taken to such vicious hatred towards Coulter and fellow pundit Michelle Malkin? Smear sites have referred to Malkin as a "slanty-eyed gook" among other racist slurs. Why is it that the left feels it must sully their names and reputations just because they don't like what is being said? Tonight's utterly disrespectful display by campus and community liberals at UConn simply furthers much of what conservatives like Coulter have said about liberals and their free speech beliefs.

Interviews on The O'Reilly Factor of UConn students and Ann herself over the week leading up to the speech discussed predictions of the left's response to her presence on campus. Furthermore, the interview with Coulter tackled the subject of conservatives speaking on college campuses. Many right-thinking intellectuals and pundits, UNC-Wilmington criminology professor Dr. Mike Adams foremost among them, regard academia as the last mainstay of Marxist ideologues. Spreading their views to impressionable undergrads, colleges are rapidly becoming deep blue hotbeds of radical liberalism.

On to the grand finale: what is the difference between the liberal and conservative versions of free speech? Well, in most cases (apart from the radical far-right fring), conservatives believe in strict 1st Amendment freedom of speech. However, liberals deviate from this belief in the view that "offensive" speech should be censored. What constitutes "offensive" speech is completely up in the air.

One case of "offensive" speech is that from conservative Christians regarding immoral acts such as homosexuality. Campuses fervently try to rid their grounds of this speech so as to not offend the few gays attending their school.

Another case of "offensive" speech is the coverage of controversial topics by conservatives like Ann Coulter. The response from liberals is what was witnessed in Connecticut tonight; if they can't handle it, they might as well censor it. I have had firsthand experience with this type of censorship from the left on two separate occasions, each dealing with similar topics.

The first instance was in April when conservative powerhouse Phyllis Schlafly spoke here at the University of Wisconsin. The protestors holding signs outside decided they'd like to come in and hear what she had to say. Or rather, they decided they knew exactly what she had to say, but since they were so much smarter, they'd correct her every "mistake". Much of the time the hecklers were laughed off by Mrs. Schlafly, and other times they were told to keep quiet.

The same thing happened when a former abortionist turned pro-life lecturer came to campus to discuss the horrors of his old occupation. Campus feminists and pro-choicers came and voiced their concerns for all to hear. Their heckling was only stopped when campus security arrived and started forcibly removing them from the room.

Both cases dealt with radical feminists who couldn't handle a moral objection to their belief system. The only response they could muster was to shout down each and every valid argument with the typical liberal talking points. They couldn't simply wait until the Q&A to voice their opinions and concerns like everyone else. Instead they embarrased themselves and their cause by acting like buffoons.

The cold, hard truth is that many liberals can't argue with the opposition in a head-to-head debate because they lack confidence in their argument. Conservatives rarely resort to this kind of behavior because they have a firm, steadfast belief in what they're fighting for. When you truly know and believe in your heart that what you are fighting for is right, you can respectfully disagree with your opponents. However, when you simply take up a cause because your parents believed in it or your friends did, or you simply want to fit in, your lack of conviction and confidence forces you to shout down the opposition.

The best way to close is with this oft-cited quote: "the best response to bad speech is more speech." Please listen to arguments, no matter how much you may disagree, respectfully and follow up by saying so.

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