Free Speech Goes Both Ways

Posted: June 27, 2018 in Social Commentary

By R.C. Seely

ONE OF THE WAYS THAT Republicans and Democrats are noticably similar is their misunderstanding about free speech. Both seem to think it is like a river that flows only one direction and ways their way only.

That’s why they get baffled by some Libertarians (such as myself) who adamantly defend the opposing views, believing we agree with them. Just because I stand behind a person’s right to say stupid and even downright offensive opinions doesn’t mean I agree.

I find racism and bigotry just as disgusting as progressives do, but the only thing worse is any form of legal action against it. That’s why I question the legitimacy of Hate Crime laws, for example. Such legal standards divert the focus from the merits of the criminal act and places on the personal attitudes of the suspect. Their attitudes are relevant for motives in the crime but it should not be the focal point. In civil case that maybe more acceptable, but not in a criminal one.

The most recent example of this political dictomony which I’m referring to, look at the case of the Christian baker who was asked to “bake the damn cake” for a gay couple.

The Supreme Court did the right thing and ruled in the baker’s favor. This left a few people angry, one was actor Andrew Garfield who publicly commented his dissatisfaction with the results. He’s not entirely wrong but he’s also not right.

I don’t think the baker was right–morally or from a sensible business standpoint. Turning down any customer, based on their lifestyle or any immaterial choices like that has business risks that should be carefully considered. Word of mouth is so important in the information age and if you deny services for such reasons everyone will hear about and there will be consequences. But that is how freedom of association works.

The belief that an organization needs to be punished by big government is where Garfield and those who think like him are wrong. The consumer will punish them, by not supporting them with their patronage and spreading the word through social media. Since the consumer generally comments the complaints more than the kudos, it’s a fair conclusion to make that others will be kept in the know.

This defending only the singular perspective is common and not simply isolated to homosexuality. Gun rights ends up being an “Us versus Them” senario, as does, drug prohibitions, abortion and immigration. While in gun control, drug prohibitions, and abortion, I disagree with any legislative intervention, immigration does have a sort of compromise.

Increasing worker visas for immigrants would solve so many immigration issues, but this passionate reactionaryism prevents that. With immigration the progressives take an absurd stance trying to appease both their union base and immigrants, failing miserably to satisfy even reality. Unions members are afraid of immigrants “taking their jobs” and that creates the stalemate on that side. Republicans are right in their dislike for unions, even though they agree with them in this case.

You might be asking yourself what do gun rights, drugs, abortion and immigration have to do with free speech? The baker turning away a customer is a clear demonstration of free speech but how does an immigrant being denied a job play into the discussion?

Legislative action is either a defense or denial of the voter’s views–it’s the practical real life application of your opinion. Whenever a prohibition of any kind is introduced it’s an inhibition of someone’s free speech. Basically you’re building a dam against a real discussion. Gun control, the war on drugs and the current immigration system are all restrictions of free speech, which are neither practical or working effectively. Before building a dam–or a wall–the other options should be up for debate. That way genuine free speech, not only your view is protected.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture with new book–Confused Yet? Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible–soon to be released.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s