In his latest op-ed, National Review’s David French expertly outlines progressive hypocrisy when it comes to free speech, and reminds us that just because you have the right to say something, doesn’t necessarily mean you should say it.
Increasingly, the First Amendment is being used to intimidate Americans into silence. It happens every time. Every single time that I criticize a private corporation for progressive bullying — say, boycotting North Carolina even as it gleefully serves Saudi Arabia — or critique an online shame campaign, I get the same response: “How do you like free markets now, Mr. Conservative? What’s your problem with free speech, Mr. Lawyer?”
The thinking seems to be that if I support the existence of a legal right, then I should and must somehow support every single exercise of that right. This makes no sense, and any critic with a shred of intellectual honesty knows it. If a progressive supports the right to vote, does that mean they’re glad when someone votes Republican? Or do they protect the right and seek to change the vote?
… The result is exactly the political climate we have: increasingly polarized, with self-righteousness driving ever-more-punitive behavior. In recent weeks we’ve been treated to the hilarious spectacle of leftist sportswriters who applaud Colin Kaepernick for making some Americans feel uncomfortable, even as they stayed silent or cheered when ESPN fired Curt Schilling for, yes, making some Americans feel uncomfortable. “Free speech for me but not for thee” is a philosophy that’s alive and well, and political radicals are dead set on using their rights to spread it, enforce it, and revel in the “victories” that follow. The government won’t kill free speech. Americans will, and they will do so as loudly, as proudly, and as profanely as possible.