Peggy Noonan has picked up and written about the topic virtually all conservatives know: the left views free speech as a right only for them and their views. All opposing viewpoints must be silenced.
Peggy begins her piece by summarizing four significant moments that happened in the past 10 days that illustrate her point: 1. Jim Gilchrist founder of the Minute Man project was silenced at Columbia University. 2. The left expressed dismay that Brian Rohrbough, the father of a boy killed during the Columbine killings, was allowed to express his views on Katie Couric’s freeSpeech segment. 3. Barbra Streisand cursed out an audience member after he questioned her anti-Bush diatribe while on stage. 4. Rosie O’Donnell tried to silence Elizabeth Hasselbeck on The View after she countered Rosie’s argument that guns should be banned.
From there Ms. Noonan gets to the crux of the situation:
It is not only about rage and resentment, and how some have come to see them as virtues, as an emblem of rightness. I feel so much, therefore my views are correct and must prevail. It is about something so obvious it is almost embarrassing to state. Free speech means hearing things you like and agree with, and it means allowing others to speak whose views you do not like or agree with. This–listening to the other person with respect and forbearance, and with an acceptance of human diversity–is the price we pay for living in a great democracy. And it is a really low price for such a great thing.
We all know this, at least in the abstract. Why are so many forgetting it in the particular?
Let us be more pointed. Students, stars, media movers, academics: They are always saying they want debate, but they don’t. They want their vision imposed. They want to win. And if the win doesn’t come quickly, they’ll rush the stage, curse you out, attempt to intimidate.
Yes they will. And if those tactics fail, how far will they go to impose their views on the rest of us?