Something America Does Better than Canada!
You guys may have better indie rock music, health care policy, and comedians, but America has better free speech laws!
In case anyone missed it, Ann Coulter was threatened with censorship after being invited to a Canadian university. GG (Greenwald, not Grandin) has his take here.
Key quote: “For as long as I’ll live, I’ll never understand how people want to vest in the Government the power to criminalize particular viewpoints it dislikes, will never understand the view that it’s better to try to suppress adverse beliefs than to air them, and will especially never understand people’s failure to realize that endorsing this power will, one day, very likely result in their own views being criminalized when their political enemies (rather than allies) are empowered.”
Agreed. The worse part about this? This is exactly, I mean exactly, what the odious Coulter wants. She gets more attention, gets to play the martyr, gets to put down Canada, and gets to act like a brave truth teller all at once.
That said, let’s not pretend the world is some reasoned academic seminar, where all opinions are calmly discussed and debated and everyone has equal time. If that were true, no one would ever have heard of Ann Coulter. Coulter (and others with her point of view) gets a megaphone that far outweighs most of ours, in no small part because she reinforces the biases of the powerful. So I’ve got no problem with students who try to counter that by shouting her down, protesting, throwing pies, etc… Free speech should be rowdy!
But the state should stay the hell out.