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We are at a tipping point in this nation and, quite frankly, I'm not sure which direction we are going to fall. And, no, I'm not talking about the Green New Deal that the radical lefties are pushing. They think that the world only has 12 years left before we are past the point of redemption unless we adopt their radical environmental proposals.

I'm worried about our environment, but I also know that the United States can't solve a global problem without the cooperation of the rest of the world. But, unlike that issue, the problem I'm talking about can be solved by this country, but I'm afraid that the radical lefties aren't really interested in being part of the solution but rather are the root of the problem.

Okay, enough of the mystery, I'm talking about the assault on free speech that is gaining momentum every day. It doesn't take much effort to identify attacks on free speech from the liberal national media and from many (but not all) on the left trying to snuff out anything that might even resemble dissent from their self-appointed message of tolerance and non-discrimination.

All it takes is for someone to question a lefties' motive or to put out a dissenting point of view and the dissenter is quickly branded as being intolerant, racist, Nazi and a whole litany of other ugly monikers -- and only for having the audacity of putting out a different opinion.

I would dare anyone to even deny that this is going on in this country at this moment in time. If someone does respond, he or she will undoubtedly start out with the overworn tagline, "What about Trump." It appears that when the lefties can't win an argument on merits, they always lead with something that Trump has said or done as vindication for their skewed view of free speech.

I have repeatedly said that I don't like a lot of things that Trump does or says, but let's focus on free speech and not any one individual. And, there is little doubt that our right to free speech is in danger on several fronts.

A few days ago, there was a news story about a young man whose mom did not believe in vaccinations. So, when he turned age 18, he had himself vaccinated. Good for him for exercising his choice. But, he blamed social media for allowing people to post items that supported the anti-vaccination argument and said they were putting out false facts (according to him).

It's his right to believe or not believe certain facts, but now social media and internet search companies are saying that they are going to start censoring false facts from their sites. Wait just a minute. Who put them in charge of making decisions on what is true and what is false? If this doesn't scare you, then you might as well skip reading the rest of my column because you have drunk the Kool-Aid.

And what about college campuses that have created "safe spaces" so poor fragile snowflakes don't have to hear dissenting points of view. Whatever happened to colleges being places where students are exposed to a variety of views so they can learn and discern what is true and what is false for themselves?

What is most concerning is that so many people see no problem with any of this. They consider conservative views as hate speech and think that it should be limited. Hence, the Antifa movement that believes it is absolutely acceptable, and even called upon, to squash opposing views through violence.

I hate the racist rantings of white extremists just as much as I hate the racist rantings of black extremists. But, both are protected under the First Amendment -- just as long as they don't advocate violence; then it is no longer protected.

But, no matter how much we may disagree with an opposing point of view, people have the right to have that view and no one person or group has the right to censor their views -- that is, up until now and the self-appointed lefties movement.

If the national liberal media wasn't playing into this movement, I would be less concerned. But, in many ways, it is at the head of it -- not just enabling it.

Since 1776, we have fought diligently, violently and relentlessly to protect free speech in this nation. Benjamin Franklin said, "Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech."

And, more recently, Ronald Reagan said, "Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction."

So, is this the generation that protects or destroys our freedom of speech? That is a problem over which we do have control.

Kevin Wilson is a former state representative who was born in Goodman and now lives in Neosho. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 03/14/2019

Print Headline: A Tipping Point

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