Washington Examiner: Shield your free speech (In the News)

Washington Examiner: Shield your free speech

By Luke Wachob

The Founding Fathers knew a thing or two about freedom of speech. One, free speech is essential to a flourishing democracy. Two, it can only serve that vital role when speakers are free from retaliation…

With the internet, it’s easier than ever to access and weaponize information about someone’s views on controversial issues. Opinions in the mainstream today may seem radical decades later, but public records of your contributions will live online forever. In a country where civic engagement is on the decline – 2014 saw the lowest voter turnout in 70 years – the threat of an internet mob attacking you, your family, or your business is one more reason to stay silent.

Fortunately, we can roll back this culture of intimidation by taking a page from the Founding Fathers and the civil rights movement. They recognized that if supporters of causes could be bullied into silence, speech could not play its crucial role of challenging the establishment and driving social progress. Let’s vow not only to protect the First Amendment, but also to protect the privacy that keeps speech free. 

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.