If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
-- George Washington
The modern progressive movement is intellectually bankrupt. Natural statists, they desire to rule by edict rather than have to debate and convince. It is why they so often resort to the race card to end debate. It is why they inevitably seek to demonize their opponents rather than face them in the marketplace of ideas. Indeed, this aspect of the left is so pervaisive and so deeply ingrained that it one of their defining characteristics.
Andrew Klavin, writing at City Journal, makes some cogent observations along these lines:
. . . [E]verywhere, the Left favors fewer voices and less information, and conservatives favor more. Everywhere, the Left seeks to disappear its opposition, whereas the Right is willing to meet them head-on.
Take the e-mails that the Daily Caller obtained from the now-defunct lefty Web service Journolist. Never mind the personal or psychological implications of a radio producer who lovingly imagines Rush Limbaugh’s death or a law professor who doesn’t know that the FCC has no power to deprive Fox News of a license or a reporter who wants to smear Fred Barnes and other right-wing commentators as racist in order to distract the public from the hateful radicalism of Jeremiah Wright, then Obama’s pastor. The point is not these people’s animus or ignorance or wickedness. The point is that what they desired was not victory in open debate but silence — the silence of censorship, intimidation, or the grave.
When has Rush Limbaugh ever wished a liberal’s mouth closed forever? Really, who can deny that Rush would happily argue a point with absolutely anyone anywhere? When has Fox News ever done anything to its rival cable stations but trounce them in a free competition for ratings? When has Fred Barnes ever tried to bully or intimidate someone into shutting up? . . .
Freedom of speech and the market place of ideas are anethema to our modern left.