Kinda funny being called hateful/bigoted/phobic/etc for expressing opinions that were emphatically mainstream just five years ago.
And by funny, of course I mean it’s asinine.
There was a time not too long ago when common sense ideas and opinions were pretty much the norm. Now, anyone who dares to express a perspective or a belief that goes against the new orthodoxy is met with accusations of bigotry or hate speech.
What’s happening is nothing less than a concerted effort to silence dissent and control the narrative, and the folks doing it don’t seem to care about how antithetical it is to the principles of a free society.
Maybe that’s the point.
Prince Harry recently made headlines by calling the 1st Amendment “bonkers,” but he’s got it all wrong. What’s bonkers is the idea that politicians and bureaucrats should be the arbiter of what speech is appropriate.
It’s not just the idea that’s bonkers; it’s the consequences.
When people are silenced or punished for their opinions, it’s not just their voices that are silenced—it’s also the opportunity for dialogue, debate, and growth.
In a free society, we would be able to express our opinions without fear of retribution. We would be able to disagree with one another without being worried about losing our jobs or be ostracized or punished.
We would able to listen to each other and learn from each other, even if we don’t always agree.
Unfortunately, we’re seeing the opposite of that today.
People are being “cancelled” for holding unpopular opinions or expressing ideas that some might find uncomfortable, social media platforms are banning users who don’t conform to certain ideological standards, and the mainstream media works more as the communication arm of the “approved narrative” than it does as a source of actual news and information.
It’s a disturbing trend that’s playing out in our schools, in the media, and in our everyday lives. We’re told that certain topics are off-limits, certain opinions are unacceptable, and that those who disagree are not just wrong, but morally corrupt—even dangerous.
It’s worth fighting back against.
This idea that free speech is somehow harmful, that certain opinions are beyond the pale, and that only some voices deserve to be heard is what’s “bonkers.”
The free exchange of ideas, no matter how controversial or uncomfortable, is the cornerstone of a free society.
The beauty of free speech and open discourse is that bad or dangerous ideas are naturally weeded out through public scrutiny. When ideas are allowed to be expressed freely, they are subject to criticism, debate, and evaluation. This is how societies come to a consensus on what is moral, ethical, and acceptable.
But when one side of a debate is silenced, it creates an echo chamber where only one viewpoint is heard. This stifles open discourse and can lead to the acceptance of ideas that may be immoral or unnatural, simply because they were never fully evaluated and challenged.
It’s ironic that those who claim to be promoting so-called progress and social justice often resort to silencing opposing views.
It’s almost as if they know that their ideas wouldn’t stand up to public scrutiny.
The truth is, open discourse and free speech are essential to a healthy and prosperous society. It’s only through the free exchange of ideas that we can arrive at the best solutions to our problems, and it’s only through free speech that small, powerful minorities with terrible ideas don’t take control of everything and force the rest of us into their crazy-world.
So let’s not be afraid to speak our minds and challenge the status quo, even if it means being called names like “hateful”, “bigoted”, or “[insert current thing]-phobic”.
As parents, we have a responsibility to teach our children the value of free speech and critical thinking. It’s our job to instill these values in the next generation.
We must raise our children to be confident in their beliefs and prepared to defend them, to be open to opposing viewpoints, and to never shy away from a healthy debate.
That’s why I wrote the Tuttle Twins books, to introduce children to important ideas about economics, history, and philosophy, while also reinforcing the importance of individual responsibility, the value of free speech, and the dangers of groupthink.
Free speech is paramount. It’s worth defending.
Our kids are counting on us.