Freedom of Discussion
By Anne Koutsoutis
One of America’s greatest achievements has been the maintaining of political freedom and government by discussion. The roots of this achievement go back to Europe, especially England, but the United States has successfully adopted and added to this heritage of liberty. At its best, the American political system makes it possible to use public discussion and free expression as a means of education, finding the answers to new and difficult questions, and avoiding any anti-libertarian movement that might seize power in moments of panic. At times seemingly wasteful and slow-moving, democracy has always held within itself the possibility of growth, and this growth has been made possible because of free speech.
In the age of big government, censorship by big tech, a biased media and cancel culture, freedom of thought and discussion is difficult to maintain, but it must be maintained. There is no guarantee that the right answers will be found at the right time. It is, however, the best hope for continued American progress. Open debate plus constructive listening and criticism is the key to maintaining a free society. The simple fact is that censoring speech is a recipe for illiberalism and regression. That is, and always has been, the reactionary way.
The so-called “tolerant” left, which preaches acceptance and understanding toward all people regardless of race, gender, and religion, is not so tolerant when it comes to our free speech and political affiliations. This is a toxic sentiment that seeks to tear down our country symbolically and literally.
In “The Friends of Voltaire,” published in 1906, Evelyn Beatrice Hall wrote the phrase: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.”
Today, there is much work that needs to be done. We must be willing to point out the hypocrisy and discrepancy that runs rampant in the left’s ideology. It is only through conversation, not cancellation, that we will be able to expose the left’s hypocrisy, unify America and restore American patriotism.
Now, let us get to work.
Anne Koutsoutis, First Vice Chair, MCGOP, President, CCWRC