S. Martin Shelton

Retired U.S.Navy Captain, Novelist

Book Review- The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech

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Rating – Five Stars

Kristen Powers, a self-acknowledged Democrat and liberal, expounds the political incorrect truism that illiberal left (her term) suppresses speech that does not kowtow to anarchist/socialist orthodoxy. She cites numerous instances where the illiberal left violated a person’s Second Amendment rights by intimidation, threats, and violence. And such suppression prevents audiences from exercising their Second Amendment right to hear.

I’ll not summarize Power’s musings. Rather, I’ll post a number of her quotes and writings that will extol her theme far better than I.

  1. “[It’s the] liberal Supreme Court Justices who argued for an expansion of views of the First Amendment and treated free speech as a precious commodity to be guarded jealously.”
  2. “For example, liberal Justice William Brennan, Jr. said, ‘…debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.’”
  3. “Laws that limit what a person can say, even when what they say is depraved, are authoritarian. For example, at a press conference on 5 December 2015, the Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, said, ‘[I’m] incredibly disturbed by the rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric in America and [I] pledge to combat this trend and prosecute those responsible…’”
  4. The illiberal left philosophy is “…in favor of government power to curtail freedom of thought, speech and conscience.”
  5. The illiberal left is “…robbing [our] culture of the diversity of thought that is so central to learning and discovery.”
  6. “Any person who dissents from the illiberal left’s settle dogma is viewed as an enemy to be delegitimized, demonized, and dismissed.”
  7. When the illiberal left “…can’t win an argument on the merits, [they] attack to cast doubt on their opponent’s abilities, intentions, and even their value as a person.”
  8. The illiberal left dehumanizes individuals they do not like or with whom they disagree. They “…attack the very core their enemies’ human identities.”
  9. The illiberal left accuse opponents [unrepentant bigots] as being racist, sexist, misogynist, rape apologists, traitors, and homophobes. They hurl such attacks against those they wish to delegitimize in the public square.” For example, they prefer to smear people as racists rather than debating them on the merits of the arguments.
  10. The Illiberal left uses character assassination to destroy their opponents. They don’t desire debate, they fight for a monologue that extols their beliefs and silences all others.
  11. “Anyone who opposes abortion out of concern for the unborn is part of the War on Women.”
  12. The “War on Women” is a catchall to label conservatives misogynistic.

The following two paragraphs are my editorials.

The suppression of free speech is the tyrant’s age-old technique to control the political, economic, and educational environment. For example, let’s visit Berlin and other German university cities on the night of 13 May 1936. The radicalized student of the German Student Union and the Sturmabteilung (Brown shirt stormtroopers)—the Nazi’s paramilitary organization—raided university libraries and burned in excess of twenty thousand books. Destroyed were those books deemed subversive to the National Socialist Party’s agenda. Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Propaganda Minister, shouted, “I consign to the flames the writings of anti-National Socialists German thought.”

One more. This time recently. Let’s review the afternoon of 13 May 2016 at the University of Illinois, Chicago. We are the Donald Trump rally in his quest for the Republican Presidential nomination. Radical students, socialists educators, and other anarchist hoodlums shouted loudly, screamed obstinacies, blocked entrances/exits, hassled attendees—some violently. A student cadre waved Red flags. The scene was close to a riot. Police and university officials were ineffective in restoring order. Accordingly, Donald Trump canceled the rally for the safety of all. Protesters were jubilant and celebrated in the streets of Chicago’s Near West Side.

I would ask, what is the difference between these two events? And I will answer, fascist-suppressed free speech is a violation of human rights and the United States of America’s constitution.

Significantly, this fascism is particularly rampant in education, media, and left-wing politics. Unfortunately, it’s in education where illiberal tyranny prevails. It’s in the university environment where all ideas and philosophies should be welcomed—an inclusive environment where students expand their minds by debating competing thought—where all are encouraged to express their opinions free of intimidation and violence. Not now, however. Universities have become the worst authoritarian regimes in history. Should speech, literature, or images flunk the doctrinaire creed and seep through the academic censorship, the “little darling” students rush to a “safe space” so they will not be offended. GADZOOKS!

Read more by S. Martin Shelton!


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