For Many on the Left, Was Freedom of Speech Merely a Tactic?

More and more, it appears that the Left, which fervently supported freedom of expression during most of our county’s history, began to shift its position as it gained power. Trotsky wrote of “Their Morals and Ours.” Perhaps Alinsky or one of his intellectual heirs should write, “Our Freedom, Not Theirs.”
One of the latest examples come from DePaul, the nation’s largest Catholic (i.e. non-public, and not subject to a law suit on First Amendment grounds) university, where a conservative speaker (one of his topics being what he characterizes as leftist brainwashing of college students), whom the university will not allow to speak on campus, due to “public safety concerns.” In other words, the university is not confident that, when confronted with the prospect of different perspective being expressed, its students and/or off campus leftist groups will refrain from violence in their efforts to prevent that perspective from being openly shared.
Not that everyone to the left of center is of a mind to silence opposing voices, though I sometimes have been surprised by basically fair minded friends who seem to view freedom of speech as something generally good, but less important than particular agendas or what they regard as greater truths. A good example of someone with solid liberal credentials who has spoken out against the Left’s efforts to suppress expressions of opposing views is Kirsten Powers, who worked for the Democratic Party and served in the Clinton Administration. Here is a link to her 2015 book on the subject:

60 thoughts on “For Many on the Left, Was Freedom of Speech Merely a Tactic?”

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