Bill Maher, Rush Limbaugh and the Death of American Free Speech

March 25, 2012
By

www.sodahead.com

Bill Maher and Rush Limbaugh have unwittingly brought American free speech to Death’s door.

Between Maher’s misogynistic hate from the left and Limbaugh’s hammering of Fluke for her faux “testimony” before a sham “committee, the torches and pitchforks are out for the First Amendment.

But the masses marching against the travesty of “offensive” speech are some of the most ignorant, whiny, wusses the planet has ever known.

In a New York Times Op/Ed, Maher writes:

When did we get it in our heads that we have the right to never hear anything we don’t like? In the last year, we’ve been shocked and appalled by the unbelievable insensitivity of Nike shoes, the Fighting Sioux, Hank Williams Jr., Cee Lo Green, Ashton Kutcher, Tracy Morgan, Don Imus, Kirk Cameron, Gilbert Gottfried, the Super Bowl halftime show and the ESPN guys who used the wrong cliché for Jeremy Lin after everyone else used all the others. Who can keep up? …………….

………….The right side of America is mad at President Obama because he hugged  Derrick Bell, a law professor who believed we live in a racist country, 22 years ago; the left side of America is mad at Rush Limbaugh for seemingly proving him right.

If it weren’t for throwing conniption fits, we wouldn’t get any exercise at all.

You would be hard pressed to find anywhere in the archives of the Corner any words agreeing with the likes of Bill Maher.

But even a broken clock is right twice a day and on this issue, Maher is right on time.

The ONE thing that has lifted America above all other nations on this earth is our First Amendment, it’s freedom of speech clause, and our willingness for over 235 years to defend it to the death.

Conversely, the ONE thing that will bring us down as no foreign enemy ever could is to abandon defense of free speech in deference to the “sensitivities” of the politically correct.

We have arrived at a point in time in American history where no matter what is said, no matter how naïve, no matter in what context, somewhere, someone will “take offense”.

American discourse, especially our political has been rough and tumble, coarse and down right mean throughout our entire history. Adams-Jefferson, Andrew against John Quincy, Johnson vs Grant, the brutal battle between Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, Truman – Eisenhower, the list is long and the pages are steeped in “offensive” political discourse.

Yet only in recent times have we seen such organized attempts by one group to silence the voices of another for one reason or another.

How did we arrive at this point in time?

The Corner suggests the train left the station in the mid 1960’s loaded with the agenda of the political left and over the years unloaded it’s poisonous cargo at so many depots across the land there perhaps is not a community left in this great nation not infected to at least some degree with the cancer of political correctness.

“Political correctness” fosters the delusion among the weak minded that if it is only allowed enough power, the government and the collective can cure all ills and sanitize society for the betterment of all.

For half a century now, PC promoters have been convincing one group after another that their lot in life is not their own fault or a result of their own poor personal choices but rather a result of others. Others who had more “stuff”, had more “power”, had more “education”, had more “anything”.

Instilling into millions of Americans they were not the luckiest on the planet to just be living in America in the first place, they were instead “victims” of others and they were “entitled” to more.

No one can “take” anything anymore without demanding an apology for this “insensitive comment” or that “offensive remark.

Or even worse, as in the cases of Maher and Limbaugh, calling for the censoring of their right to speak freely, however “inappropriate” or “rude” said speech may be. (And lest you’re sitting at home thinking “such could never happen, here”, think again. Dwainbwain Graham and Jim Wheeler have engaged in such behavior even though their own blogs reside on a newspaper site. Be it blanket banning, deleting, changing or just refusing to post a comment they have been active purveyors of the behavior and all because they didn’t “like” what someone else was saying.)

We have hyphenated, segregated, sensitized and litigated this once great “melting pot” into a Balkanized collection of special interests that would leave those famous feuding Presidents of the past shaking their heads in disgust.

Disgust with a populace where so many are so ignorant of their own history that they are now engaged against each other not in “wars of words” but in “battles to silence”.

The Founders cherished individual liberties so strongly they instilled them into our Constitution.

But, they also knew that those liberties would only remain as long as the populace recognized that the price to pay for those liberties was personal responsibility.

Sadly,“personal responsibility” is perhaps the most ignored trait in the country today.

Crusading to silence those with whom you politically disagree, or trying to shut someone up who spoke a word or two you find “offensive”, or demanding censorship of words and commentary that one group or another might find “insensitive” is, in the context of our free speech history, as far from responsible behavior as you can get.

All that said however, the Corner does wish to be helpful and accomodating to those of you on either side of the political aisle attempting to “sanitize” our speech under the guise of a more “civil” discourse.

Helpful in the form of free directions that is.

The Corner “most helpfully” directs you to Canada, England, Europe, Russia, China, or any other country on the planet.

You’ll feel much more at home there. (That is until that knock on your door from the government asking you to come along for a little “visit” regarding your “incorrect and unapproved” speech.)

When it comes to freedom of speech, no matter how “rough” it may be, the Corner stands firmly with the Founders.

If it’s not yelling “FIRE” in a theater and causing true physical harm, speech in this nation should flow as freely and unfettered as the Founders intended.

To do anything else is not just irresponsible, it is above all else, un-American.

 

Publisher’s note: Lest you on the left that are known to lurk about from time to time, dismiss this column as but the rants of a middle aged conservative white male I direct you below to the following from a column titled “Censorship and the Anemic State of Political Discourse in America”:

When I lived in China in the early 1990s, there were things that you could not discuss. One was Tibet. Another was Taiwan, “referred to in my daughter’s public elementary school in Shanghai as “China’s largest island.” Another was the 1989 massacre of students and workers in Beijing. I used to be grateful at the time that I was an American and that back home, we could talk about anything.

Except that in a way we can’t. Not in public discourse, anyhow.

No, the above was not written within these past few weeks of the latest “outrages” against “inappropriate” words. It was posted on March 16, 2008 by Dave Lindorff on none other than democrats.com.

But the irony is what follows next:

Take the silly broughhaha on the Right, in the media, and in the Democratic primary campaign, over the statements of Obama’s “spiritual mentor” the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Everyone is all worked up–and Obama has sacked Wright from his campaign’s religious advisory committee–because of some statements Wright has made that crossed an invisible line of permissible discourse.

Wright’s “crime”? He dared to point out that the US is a racist nation. He dared to suggest that the US is a terror state.

Hmmmmmmm, an obvious “lefty” defending Jeremiah Wright and his words that many in the country find “offensive and irresponsible” speech.

Media Matters and the rest on the left might want to read Mr. Lindorff’s full post from four years ago before they run out with their boycott posters tomorrow.

While I disagree with Lindorff’s post, I most certainly agree with his right to say it and Wright’s right to say the words that led to it. And that’s something we should ALL be able to agree on.

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3 Responses to Bill Maher, Rush Limbaugh and the Death of American Free Speech

  1. A Nonny Moose on March 25, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Now Geoff, let’s be fair. The liberals, and especially our local variety, are all for free speech. Well, so long as you define that as “you are free to agree with them, and they are free to ban any speech that is more than a nanometer to the ideological right of their own”, that is.

    It is rather funny. They want their health care for “free”, their contraceptives for “free”, their houses for “free”, etc. The only thing they don’t want “free” is speech they disagree with. Go figure.

  2. Hal on March 25, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    The speech of Mr Maher and Mr Limbaugh are products in a marketplace. If the image of a product is tarnished, and customers or sponsors refuse to buy, that is a sales problem, not a violation of the constitution.
    The first amendment protects you from being arrested or harassed by government agents for expressing your political views. See the difference?
    Cheers,

    • Geoff Caldwell on March 26, 2012 at 5:37 am

      Oh we definitely see the difference. But for the professional left and perpetually offended right to be so obsessed with silencing the speech of those they disagree with is about as far from our founding ideals as you can get.
      As Lindorff wrote, you expect that kind of stuff in other countries like China, but not America. At least the America we used to be.

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