Whose Free Speech Is It, Anyway?

These days we have reports of “Occupiers” planning to disrupt the Iowa Republican Primary caucuses, with one young woman justifying the disruption by saying that “all we have is our bodies, and we need to do what we can to have our voices heard.”

Last week, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann was disrupted during a campaign appearance in Iowa City as “Occupiers” shouted her down and drown her out—so that only “Occupiers'” voices would be heard.

The same week, Speaker Newt Gingrich’s appearance at the Iowa State Capitol building was disrupted with the same “my free speech, not yours” technique by other “Occupiers,” and for the same reason.

The “Occupiers” plainly believe that their free speech rights don’t end where anyone else’s free speech rights begin.  The “Occupiers” insist that only their speech is appropriate to be heard.  They’re not only attacking the speakers’ rights to speak, though, with their behavior; they’re destroying everyone else’s, also: they intend, as they have been doing all along, to dictate to you and me what speech we will be permitted to hear.  We’re not to be allowed to decide for ourselves.

These are the folks, and this is the philosophy, that the Democratic Party actively supports.  But the “Occupiers”—and by extension, our Democrats—aren’t upset that their voices aren’t being heard; they’re upset that they are not being heeded.  So they’ll “do what we need to do.”  Your free speech doesn’t count.

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