Sunday, 16 September 2012

Free Speech & A Mistaken President

Shamefully & disgracefully President Obama's own unexamined  politics & poorly grounded belief system has led him & his administration to betray  freedom of speech not just for Americans but for all of us. Tonight, because of the craven, progressive-politics reaction by the President of America, we are all a little less free & the world is a poorer, narrower and more dangerous place.

No one has the right not to be offended. The very nature of freedom of speech demands that it is the very act of offence that we protect because without that the freedom is meaningless. If, by claiming offence, I may silence speech then all useful or competing speech is silenced & discussion halted. If by rioting I force the President of the most powerful nation on earth to grovel & attempt to extinguish a silly film (of dubious connection to the incident) then we reduce the world to competing mobs of rioters & murderers & end every debate with the threat of death to a diplomat.

Such a world as Obama is building will have neither diplomats nor debates.
Voltaire laid down a principal by which America lived, one that  inspired  Jefferson when writing the First Amendment: I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

If today an idiot cannot say Mohammed was a a thieving child molester, tomorrow a wise man will be silenced for arguing against carbon taxes or zoning: that is the inexorable law of diminution. "It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. Slavery has so frightful an aspect to men accustomed to freedom that it must steal in upon them by degrees and must disguise itself in a thousand shapes in order to be received" and tonight Hume's words seem a little more threatening. The freedom to offend, to dissent radically from the acceptable, the safe is far more important because vast swathes of the worlds population either do not enjoy it or are living in societies where it is culturally so alien it will never be supported.

Obama is heir to the title of Leader of the Free World, an encomium earned in a long & successful a struggle against a vile tyranny. Would Eisenhower, Kennedy or Reagan have apologised for the exercise of free speech within the borders of the United States? Would any President bow to the wishes of the murderers of one of the countries ambassadors and try to silence what they said they wanted silenced?

Barack Obama does not believe in free speech as a concept. Just as he believes in the stupid ideas of a managed economy so too he believes in a managed form of freedom: a freedom limited by others ability to be offended. This is a poor, castrated, useless shadow of that vital freedom. It is a that monstrous perverted version of freedom that Marcuse would impose, repressive tolerance.

Sadly, incredibly, a man more influenced by Marcuse than Jefferson sits behind the desk in the Oval Office.  He has abandoned the constitution he swore to uphold. The shades of Voltaire, Kennedy & Reagan can look on and weep for for America, for freedom, for the future.

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