5 Reasons Woke Liberals Are So Opposed to Free Speech
It's hard to believe free speech has become a partisan issue in America
It’s worth noting that woke liberals like to claim “both sides” have a free speech problem because conservatives don’t believe woke teachers should be able to insert porn, gender-bending, and teaching kids to hate white people into high school math class. However, controlling what teachers are allowed to pump into the brains of impressionable children isn’t a free speech issue at all. Teachers are paid to do a job and that job doesn’t include preaching weird propaganda to kids in public schools instead of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Our education system is supposed to be politically neutral and healthy for kids. Demanding that teachers do their damn jobs instead of trying to groom children doesn’t impinge on their free speech. If a teacher can’t break open the Bible and teach kids Christianity during school, teachers shouldn’t be able to lie to kids and tell them that they can pick their gender. We don’t allow cops to make political decisions about who they pull over and Republican firemen aren’t allowed to decide to just let liberal houses burn down, so why should liberal teachers be allowed to push their beliefs on children who were sent there by their parents to be educated, not brainwashed?
On the other hand, woke liberals really have become increasingly hostile to free speech. On college campuses, they go to lectures in order to shout the speakers down. They try to destroy people via cancel culture for having run-of-the-mill opinions they disagree with. Most importantly, the woke liberals’ social media monopolies that control so much of our discourse, censor and penalize people for having even mainstream opinions that clash with liberal beliefs. Take it from someone who was suspended for 30 days for posting this “community standards violation” on Facebook. This is a real phenomenon:
The jury may have later agreed with me, but Facebook still considered having this opinion to be an unforgivable sin. Of course, Facebook’s hatred of free speech is right out of the mainstream liberal playbook. In fact, Democrats in Congress are urging social media to be bigger censors. This is often couched as “fighting misinformation,” but “misinformation” increasingly seems to be defined as stories that are inconvenient for liberals. For example, the Hunter Biden laptop story was labeled as “misinformation,” but calling biological men “women, “claiming that Russia tilted the 2016 election to Trump isn’t or saying that America is a white supremacist nation isn’t. Unquestionably, to any objective observer, the biggest sources of “fake news” in America are mainstream liberal outlets that somehow never seem to have to measure up to the high standards the Left claims conservative outlets don’t meet.
Unlike conservatives, it’s woke liberals who want strict control of what ideas you’re allowed to see, hear, and even think. So, WHY are liberals like this? Here are the 5 reasons that explain it. The first two deal with power and the last three, which are closely related, deal with the nature of liberalism.
1) Preventing challenges to their power: Why do totalitarian nations like China, Russia, and North Korea hate free speech? Because the people in power recognize that one of the keys to remaining in power is to stop the people from openly discussing their flaws or freely organizing against them. Liberals aren’t allowed to go that far… yet… but, if they can create a world where real conservative viewpoints are buried while liberal viewpoints thrive, it makes it difficult to challenge them in their centers of power like Hollywood and colleges. This is the real reason liberals hate Fox News so much… because it allows the public to hear the other side instead of just showing them a demonized version of the Right as seen through liberal eyes.
2) Steering the Overton Window their way: When a liberal tells you that “everyone agrees” with some Left-wing idea, it’s almost inevitably because they’ve ignored or censored everyone that disagrees. In reality, there is no “scientific consensus” about global warming, agreement that people can decide to change sexes, or widespread belief that we should open up the borders or increase immigration. As someone who has worked with a number of conservative websites, I can tell you that almost all conservative media outlets self-censor the articles they write purely out of fear that they’ll be penalized and ultimately banned by Facebook if they say what they really think. By giving extra weight to liberal outlets and penalizing conservative outlets, Google feeds voters that search for information about candidates and positions an inordinate amount of positive news about liberals and negative news about conservatives. The algorithms on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube do the same thing. If the Left can control what the public is allowed to see and not see, they can always have the field tilted in their favor.
Culturcidal by John Hawkins is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
3) Liberalism has become something closer to a religion than an ideology: Ultimately, modern liberalism is not really an ideology, it’s more of a religion substitute that takes precedence over everything else for its true believers, including real religions. Additionally, as you’d expect with a religion, liberal ideas are spread by faith, not logic. It has been forever remarked upon that liberals have bad ideas, but that’s because their ideas are not judged by whether they work. On the contrary, liberal ideas are judged by whether they make liberals feel good about themselves or not. One of the things that makes liberals feel good is being in tune with fellow members of their religion. Along those same lines, this helps explain the Left’s explosive reaction to heretics that don’t conform to their doctrine. This is nothing unusual for religions. You can look back to the Spanish Inquisition or much more recently, Muslims who are willing to murder non-Muslims who don’t respect their religion’s prohibition of putting up images of Muhammad. Liberals are taking pages out of those same playbooks, even if they aren’t legally allowed to go as far….yet.
4) Liberal ideas are not spread on their merits. They’re done by splitting people into groups and defining them: Liberals seldom even bother to make any kind of logical case for what they believe. Instead, it’s all emotional appeals and calling everyone who disagrees with them a racist. In essence, liberalism is spread by saying, “All the good people agree with us and everyone who disagrees with us is a bad person. Which are you?” This is why free speech is destined to work against them. If people actually get to hear the other side, it gives people the opportunity to see that most conservatives are good and decent people with well-thought-out positions that make a lot more sense than the ones liberals are pushing. It’s never the people with good ideas that are scared of free speech.
5) They feel no obligation to create an even playing field with evil people: The late Charles Krauthammer once famously said:
Woke liberals label conservatives as racists, bigots, white supremacists, selfish, greedy, evil, intolerant, uncompassionate, fascists and Nazis, and therefore, they believe there’s no need to let us have our say because we have nothing to offer but EEEEVVVILLLLL. Of course, if conservative arguments were really made in bad faith because we’re bad people, they should be easy to disprove. The fact that liberals can’t do this and for the most part, don’t even try, should tell you something.
Of course, liberals would say that they don’t need to disprove them. When the United States was at war with Hitler, Gaddafi, or Saddam Hussein, we certainly didn’t go out of our way to make sure that everyone understood their side of things. How many people care what Putin’s motives are for invading Ukraine? Are we all concerned about listening to a pedophile or rapist’s side of the story after they’re convicted? No. Woke liberals have just taken that same way of looking at things and have applied it to half the country (at least). Do you disagree with them? You do? Then you’re “evil,” so who cares if you get free speech or not? It’s a sick, distorted, and fundamentally un-American way of looking at the world, but all those terms also describe woke liberals, so at least it fits.
This is so good! The lefts distaste of free speech defies logic, but your analysis helps. This is a must read.
Well-reasoned column, thanks, John. I know my parents almost foam at the mouth when Fox news is mentioned because they can't tolerate their opinions being challenged. They've had this bumper sticker on their car for years; "Fox news: the more you watch, the less you know." It's like a neon billboard flashing: "Ignorant, and Proud of it!" Just like the troll that likes to comment here, no logic, facts or reason, just name calling and ad hominem attacks. If you have a mind that can't handle more than that, I guess you pretty much have to be a Democrat. Of course we can't forget projection- accuse conservatives of racism because you yourself believe that minorities are mentally inferior and need to be guided by the master class. I love how Whitlock and Delano Squires talk about the bigotry of white liberals on Fearless. Thanks.