I’ll keep this as short as I can, but I attended a gathering last
night and an older, very liberal fellow was talking to a Russian
immigrant throwing out the usual liberal boilerplate about the evil
right-wing America and then threw in “…and a lot of people would
argue today that we’re returning to these limits on free speech and I
agree with that…” blah, blah, blah and he obviously meant that the
right was imposing these limits on free speech.
So I jump in and say that he’s absolutely right and I reference the
Fairness Doctrine. After that I went all LF historical on the guy,
and I thought his head was going to explode because what I was saying
to this recent immigrant. It ended this way:
Liberal fellow: Well the controls on free speech historically come
from the right wing!
ME: Why do you say that? Look at the examples I just gave with
Roosevelt and Wilson, speech codes at our universities, and today with
the Fairness Doctrine.
Liberal: Everybody, and I mean everybody but you I guess, regards
limitations on free speech as coming from the right.
ME: But why do you say that?
Liberal: EVERYBODY says that…ha, ha, ha
ME: Well I don’t know what else I can tell you, except that the
history doesn’t back you up.
Unfortunately, that closing isn’t how I’d have liked to have ended
it. Perhaps in the paperback edition you can include some witty
closings to such discussions!