The Little Issue of Free Speech
Let Obama Speak Says "the Anti-Obama."
And Let Miss California Speak Too.
By Wayne Allyn Root, 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee
To anyone who has ever read my commentaries, it is clear I'm not a Barack Obama fan. To the contrary, I am the Anti-Obama. I stand in opposition to virtually everything my old Marxist college classmate does and says. I have pointed out that he is distracting America with Tonight Show appearances; March Madness picks; Town Hall meetings; appearances at his adorable little daughter's soccer games; private moments holding hands during romantic walks with his wife Michelle (that just happen to be staged right in front of the White House Press Corp); and introducing his cute new puppy Bo to the American people. All the while Obama fools America with these nonstop “Weapons of Mass Distraction” he just happens to be bankrupting the U.S. economy with unsustainable levels of spending; orchestrating the destruction of capitalism (by firing executives; hiring and firing Boards; determining executive compensation; and worst of all- handing Chrysler to the unsecured auto unions over the secured bondholders); and wiping out America's upper middle class and small businesses with massive tax hikes and socialist levels of redistribution of wealth. Certainly no one can accuse me of being soft on Obama.
But what happened at the University of Notre Dame this weekend was nonetheless dangerous to the values of America. Catholic conservatives protested President Obama being invited to speak at the Notre Dame graduation ceremonies (as well as receiving an honorary law degree). Have we abandoned the concept of free speech? If you don't like what someone has to say, then debate him. Demand equal time for opposing viewpoints. Demand diversity in graduation speakers. Go on television and explain why Obama is wrong. Mobilize Catholics to defeat him in 2012. Make your case to the American people. Make him a one-term pariah like Jimmy Carter. But the one thing you should not do in a free society is ban him from speaking because you disagree with his views. Censorship goes against the values of America. Love him or hate him, you should be willing to allow the President of the United States a microphone at Notre Dame. You should be proud of your university's willingness to air diverse viewpoints. Allowing Obama to speak at Notre Dame is the very essence of what America is about.
The problem we have in America is that many of us have lost perspective. The demand for censorship occurs more often (by far) from the left. But the Notre Dame protests prove it is spreading to all sides of the political aisle. Take the incident only a few weeks ago when Miss California simply responded to a question at the Miss USA Pageant, and declared her support for marriage between a man and a woman. The radical left didn't like her answer so they set out to destroy her. They tried to censor, slander and vilify her in such a vicious “slash and burn” fashion- with the goal that no one would ever dare publicly oppose gay marriage again. Liberal activists and bloggers called her a Nazi. You mean a viewpoint that you disagree with makes the other person comparable to a Nazi? Are liberal activists aware that Nazi's enslaved, tortured and murdered over 6 million Jews? Last I checked Miss California never enslaved, tortured or murdered anyone- nor did she endorse those actions. She was simply expressing her political opinion.
Whether you agree or disagree with the opinion of Miss California is beside the point. Free speech is allowed in this country. She had every right to give her opinion. Heck, she was asked her opinion by the Miss USA judge. You mean we have gotten to a point in America that when we ask a question, we already know the answer and we'll ruin the career of anyone who gives a different answer than expected?
Should everyone respond from now on by lying and simply saying whatever the audience they are speaking in front of wants to hear? Should every pageant contestant now feign support for gay marriage to make judges, sponsors, hairdressers, fashion designers, and makeup artists associated with the pageant happy? Should Obama give speeches at Catholic universities claiming to be pro life and anti-stem cell research? Would that make everyone happy if we all just lied to match the opinions of every audience? Has anyone heard of diversity of thought? Has anyone heard of free speech?
When the left tries to censor beauty pageant contestants; when leftist universities try to censor conservative or Libertarian opinions (which happens every day); when England bans conservative U.S. talk show host Michael Savage from entering their country; or when conservative pro-life Catholics try to censor the voice of the President of the United States- it's all a defeat for the values that we hold dear. We fought a revolution against the mighty British Empire to insure free speech and the right of all Americans to be heard. To insure that Miss California could defend traditional marriage and President Obama could defend his socialist views too. You don't have to like the views; you don't even have to respect them. But you have to be willing to let your opponent express their views in a free society.
I'm proud to be a Libertarian. I believe strongly in free markets and free speech. I may oppose what Obama stands for with every ounce of my soul. I may despise what Obama is doing to my country, my economy and my bank account. But I'd be willing to die to defend his right to speak freely. In America we let everyone speak. Live free or die. Let's not lose sight of the fact that that's precisely what makes America great.
Wayne Allyn Root was the 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate. His new book will be released by John Wiley & Sons this July entitled, “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gambling & Tax Cuts.” The book is available for pre-sale at Amazon.com. For more of Wayne’s views, commentaries, or to watch his many media interviews, please visit his web site at: www.ROOTforAmerica.com