The Death of Free Speech

Thirty-one year old Ben Shapiro can write this opening sentence because Republicans and conservatives have forfeited the schools to the political left as part of their failure to fight the information war:

Four in 10 young Americans have no idea what America is.

That’s the takeaway from a new Pew Research poll showing that 40 percent of Americans aged 18-34 say that the government should be able to prevent people from making “statements that are offensive to minority groups.” This same group of young people has granted broad awareness to the culture of “microaggression” — unintended slights taken as grave insults by their victims; they’ve also called for “trigger warnings,” alerts that certain communications may dredge up unpleasant past memories or ideas. With such ghoulish cruelties haunting the most privileged generation in human history, naturally we’d want to toss out the bedrock of Western civilization: The right to debate, to express unpopular opinions. We wouldn’t want to offend.

Unless, of course, we do.

There are those of us who find guns in our face far more offensive than the occasional taunt. We don’t like the notion that your disapproval of an opinion gives you the right to call the men with the guns; we find that perspective tyrannical and threatening. We’re not interested in your subjective feelings-world, in which you claim that innocuous statements somehow harm you in material ways. We don’t believe that self-appointed victim status grants you the ability to use force. We think you ought to develop a thicker skin — the sort of skin necessary to enjoy freedom. If your political agoraphobia prevents you from engaging in the arguments that characterize free countries, that doesn’t mean you should lock us all away in our “safe spaces.” Those “safe spaces” are called jail cells, and the only people who want to establish them are jackbooted fascists masquerading as hippy-dippy caring experts.

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