“Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government: When this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins. Republics and limited monarchies derive their strength and vigor from a popular examination into the action of the magistrates.”
The tyranny spoken of by Franklin is being erected in our nation today. A poll by the Pew Research Center conducted in 2015 found that approximately 40% of millennials thought it was okay to limit free speech that was offensive in some way, 27% of people aged 25-50 thought it was okay to limit free speech that was offensive and 12% of those over the age of 80 believed it was okay. This dangerous trend has brought us to an era where colleges and universities across the country are providing “safe spaces” to students to protect their sensibilities and give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recover. What happened to the days when college campuses were forums for debate and the free expression of ideas, where thoughts and beliefs were challenged and new ideas born? It is no wonder our society is beginning to look like a sequel to The Stepford Wives with an entire generation of mindless followers who believe every word the liberal mainstream media spews.
The erosion of free speech, however, has not been indiscriminate but rather imposed upon those who hold traditional ideologies. It is the liberal ideology that professes to be so tolerant that seeks to impose limitations on speech and free expression of religious beliefs of Christians. It is this group that claims to be so tolerant that now requires safe spaces to hide from anything they may disagree with.
Why is this so dangerous to the constitution and a free society? We are losing the ability to freely debate ideas without fear of repercussion or being labeled by the “tolerant” as racist or some other “ist” of the day. If we cannot openly debate ideas we cannot survive as a nation, it is this open debate that brings about new ideas and creates a bridge upon which we may find some common ground. We already see this happening in our government, the divide between ideologies has become so deep and so wide that our elected representatives stand on their respective sides and refuse to acknowledge any insights whatsoever coming from the opposition. As a result, nothing is accomplished by anyone and the people suffer.
Soon the day will come when those coddled and indoctrinated by left leaning academia, that generation of mindless followers, will outnumber the free thinkers and those that cherish the constitution if we do not make a bold stand today. Time is running out, if we wish to remain a free society we must exercise our freedoms or they will be lost. We were once a nation of rebels that fought and put their lives on the line for individual freedom. To maintain of such freedom and liberty will require us to once again accept and promote the concept of individual responsibility, as a people dependent upon government will eventually become slaves to that government.