November 03, 2017

Springfield Republican Editorial: Warren is right that speech must be heard

Senator Elizabeth Warren is calling on liberals to be liberal. And she's right.

The Massachusetts legislator decried attempts to silence controversial speakers in campus settings. As abhorrent as some people might find views expressed by some speakers, forcing a speech to be canceled or interfering with an appearance only turns the speakers into national symbols and raises the profile of their causes.

"I think it's dangerous to suppress speech," Warren said. "Instead of shutting up individuals with disgusting views, it becomes a launching pad to national attention. Bigots and white supremacists can make themselves out to be First Amendment martyrs and grow their audiences."

She added, "And second, suppression suggests weakness, It makes us sound afraid, that we're afraid we can't defeat evil ideas with good ideas."

Warren is correct on both counts. Controversial speeches are covered locally, but every time a speech is silenced at a university or other public setting, it's national news and the speaker gains support simply as a political martyr.

Read more on the Springfield Republican's website here.