The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech

Jennifer Marshall | August 21, 2015

Almost two centuries ago Alexis de Tocqueville concluded that the taproot of the country’s freedom was Americans’ “habits of the heart.” Today, journalist Kirsten Powers fears that root is at risk:

The illiberal left is eradicating these “habits of the heart” so Americans won’t even remember what it was like to be able to speak freely without fear of retaliation from a silencing mob or a few disgruntled lefties.

Powers thoroughly documents this thesis in her new book, The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech. Like the phenomenon it describes, The Silencing spotlights a barrage of incidents in which intolerant liberals have demonized, censored, and sought to marginalize those who dare dissent from their “settled” orthodoxy. Powers catalogs cases of students’ free speech shut down for opposing abortion or same-sex marriage, academics silenced for urging debate in such instances, individuals pressed from employment or off prominent platforms for their beliefs, and journalists stonewalled for asking the “wrong” questions or reaching “incorrect” conclusions.

Rather than welcoming discussion of opposing viewpoints, illiberal liberals resort to attacking the character of opponents, often impugning dissent as racist, misogynist, and homophobic. The result is a toxic environment for liberty.

Liberal Whistleblower 

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