Apr 14, 201407:29 AMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
Diversity, but not of thought or speech
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It is gratifying that voices more amplified than your humble Squire’s wheezing squeeze box are beginning to sound the same alarm: that so-called progressives are doing their damnedest to stymie free speech.
These electronic pages have chronicled the Hate-Walker crowd shouting down conservative speakers on the Capitol grounds, protesters attempting to shut down a bank on the Capitol Square (some of its executives had donated to Walker’s campaign), Mayor Soglin demanding ideological purity as a condition for doing business with the City of Madison, and the general mau-mauing of minority opinions hereabouts. Aside from Miss Vicki, who else in Greater Madison has spoken out for free speech?
This intolerance has achieved weapons grade with “Move to Amend,” the most potent enemy the First Amendment has encountered since Tailgunner Joe McCarthy. (Note the “Occupy This” and “Progressive and Social Justice That” list of supporters.) Its stated purpose is to prevent voluntary associations of citizens from speaking collectively if they have organized as a corporation — as almost all print, broadcast, and online media have. (Of course, they exempt themselves.)
The chilling effect
More troubling still is the partisan use of the secret investigatory process known as “John Doe” to squelch speech. Fortunately, almost the only news media outraged is also the largest print presence: The Wall Street Journal. (“Wisconsin Civil Rights March.”)
The John Doe probe has been a one-sided investigation conducted against political opponents to chill their ability to influence elections …
The state’s news media and self-appointed good government watchdogs, sad to say, remain complicit in this assault on political speech. (Cast your vote in the right-hand column on who is least likely to speak out on free speech.)
Jonah Goldberg picks up the trail in the National Review:
Think about what connects so many of the controversies today: Mozilla’s defenestration of Brendan Eich, Brandeis [University]’s disinviting of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the IRS scandal, Hobby Lobby, Sisters of Mercy, the notion climate skeptics should be put in cages, the obsession with the Koch brothers. … They’re all about either the hunting of heretics and dissidents or the desire to force adherence to the One True Faith. — “When liberalism fails.”
Add to that toxic mix the Harvard Crimson’s demand that “academic justice” replace academic freedom. The New York Times’ token conservative, Russ Douthat, warns:
Too many powerful communities … promise diversity but only as the Left defines it, fill their ranks with ideologues and then claim to stand athwart bias and misinformation … — “Diversity and Dishonesty.”
Pulitzer Prize-worthy Charles Krauthammer writes:
No longer trying to win the debate, the Left is trying to stop debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition. The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. — “Thought Police on Patrol.”
‘Social justice’ = political censorship
Even some progressive voices are reaching that oh-oh moment. Here is Michelle Goldberg in The Nation:
It’s increasingly clear that we are entering a new era of political correctness … the idea, captured by Herbert Marcuse … that social justice demands curbs on freedom of expression. — “The Return of the Anti-Liberal Left.”
As far back as September 2011, your humble Squire wrote, “Madison liberals have no interest in opposing viewpoints.” That article two and a half years ago was a distillation of a theme I had been sounding for at least a year before. I quoted UW law professor and blogresse Ann of Althouse: Why does the left hate free speech?
Having submerged themselves in disciplining each other by denouncing any heretics in their midst, they find themselves overwhelmed. … When they failed to win over the American people, and when in fact the speech from their opponents seemed too successful, they switched to the repression of speech.