The Left Did This to Itself
The standard for “free speech” these days is basically: if it offends someone it can and should be censored. After all, feelings come first. If it is witty, if it is offensive, if -- god forbid -- it is “hateful,” it must go! Scrub it from the internet! That is the standard set by the left, set in stone by Big Tech, and consecrated by the Cultural Marxist state.
Leftists cannot have it both ways, but they do not understand that, partly because they keep driving out their more gifted members. If you want free speech for the voices of sexual liberation, you must tolerate it for more traditional, sexually temperate voices. If you want free speech for BLM and other pro-black activists, you have to permit speech for dissident rightists too, including white advocates. That is, if you want to be morally and philosophically consistent. The Left wants to have its cake and eat it too. That just does not work long-term. Those terrible, self-serving standards tend to boomerang back on the standard-bearers.
A number of pro-LGBTQRSTLNE teachers in one school district in Texas are reportedly upset that they cannot express their support for gay pride in the classroom and on their vehicles. Some are even being pushed out of their jobs on account of their activism. Now they know how righties have felt for decades in America. We have long been terrified that if we speak out our livelihoods will be threatened, we will be publicly harangued and shamed, or worse still, we will be charged with hate crimes. Yet the dominant forces on the political left have consistently celebrated the persecution of actual dissidents.
These teachers claim it is unbearably oppressive to not be able to stand up for what they believe in at work. Try walking in the shoes of someone really reviled and opposed by the U.S. power structure. These teachers say they wish to be role models and to teach their students to stand up for what they believe in. But what has the Texas legislature been doing? Are state representatives who restrict overt, overwhelmingly left-wing political activism not standing up for their own beliefs and their own people? These pro-gay teachers are only for you standing up for what you believe in when they approve of and agree with what you believe in.
We are told gay and trans teens need the presence of rainbow flags and pride stickers to feel safe. How that makes someone feel safe is beyond me. Stickers do not actually make anyone safe, just as cops do not actually make anyone safe. They may make some people feel safe, but it is basically an illusion, rooted in myth and state propaganda. The government’s mindless muscle may be symbols of safety to some, but they are symbols of terror and state criminality to others. And for good reason. Some people find rainbow flags beautiful, others find them loathsome. Such is the nature of all symbolism and expression. Everything is open to interpretation by the listener/viewer. You can feel very strongly that your rainbow flag or pride pin is a symbol of inclusion, but a lot of folks find such symbols noxious, alienating, scandalous, and threatening. Many folks may lack the imagination to understand why that is, but it is. One person’s pride is another’s deprecation.
The messy culture wars in Texas are a backlash against decades of illiberal abuse by the political left. Conservative legislatures are giving leftists a dose of their own medicine. It is a readily observable reality that the lay of the sociocultural land allows lefties to express themselves whenever, but does not allow righties to do the same. Gay pride is glorious. Straight pride is despicable (and stupid). Black pride is necessary. White pride is hate. The list of double standards is endless. It only ever goes one way.
That is why a number of states have passed laws over the last decade preventing school districts from essentially endorsing certain viewpoints on charged issues. Banning Critical Race Theory can be justified on far more grounds than just this one, including the ugly fact that brainwashing young white children to hate themselves is frankly diabolical, if not child abuse, and will invariably have all kinds of negative long-term effects on the psychological well-being of white children. But what these laws really come down to is the political right reacting to a sociopolitical arrangement where only one viewpoint is truly permitted, namely the leftist viewpoint, the one that aligns with the prevailing wokeshevik zeitgeist.
The right is fed up with it, and so where it can, it is understandably doing what the left is always all too eager to do, namely silencing its political opponents. Ultimately, you can have speech for all or none, in any place that demands moral consistency. Thus, that is how it tends to go in more sophisticated contexts like the law. In society at large, including the free market, double standards reign. The government context is not society at large, however. The right cannot openly silence the left in the governmental/legal context, as the left does to the right in other contexts, so it has opted for the next best thing, namely bans on fundamentally political and/or ideological educational methods and curricula, in other words, category-wide bans on speech. The impetus behind these laws is a desire to level the playing field and stop the indoctrination. Since the left has nearly all the cultural power in modern America, the right must righteously fight from whatever terrain it still possesses, against a creepy and creeping crypto-bolshevist totalism.
People who get punched in the mouth for thinking freely are liable to eventually punch back. If leftists had their way, none of us would have Twitter accounts. Half of us already don’t. The Left has no desire to give us any say over our own future, or any influence in our hallowed democracy. After all, the last time they did that, we got "Trumpian fascism."
Thomas Paine once wrote, “He who would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” The Left has nothing to gripe about. If gay and pro-gay teachers can no longer express themselves on campus, it is their own doing. If you do not respect the voices of your adversaries, your adversaries and the standards you establish for censorship, are liable to come back to haunt you. Censorship is not consistent with a free society. It never has been. Until the Left demonstrates a commitment to the free speech rights of everyone, its own rights to speech will, and perhaps should, remain imperiled.