Newt Gingrich argues the importance of freedom of speech in contemporary America. Gingrich talks about how the anti-Trump coalition has stripped away Americans’ right to freedom of speech little by little over the years. He predicts a horrible result of the left wing’s tendency to restrict American rights to freedom of speech, and this result is eventually America will resemble the totalitarian society in Orwell’s 1984. Americans will no longer have the right to free speech if Americans subscribe to the values of the leftist wing. However, Gingrich discusses how Trump’s rhetoric is influencing Americans to acknowledge the importance of the individual’s right to freedom of speech and expression in America. Gingrich thinks Trump’s honest and not politically correct rhetoric is a great example for Americans. Without having restrictions on speech, Americans can freely participate in discourse to solve contemporary societal issues. Since the leftist party is taking Americans’ right to free speech away, organizations such as Fire are fighting for free speech on college campuses in America. The understanding of the complexities and problems of free speech in America allows for a closer analysis of free speech laws in other countries such as Canada. Among American issues with free speech, Trump defends Americans’ right to freedom of speech.
Trump’s signature honest language allows him to defend the First Amendment and reverse the restrictions of leftist thinking. He does not practice political correctness. Instead, Trump calls out failures of past Republicans when dealing with Islamic terrorism in the Middle East. With his crass language, he persuaded politicians to focus on the Radical Islamic Terrorism happening in the United Kingdom. He also speaks his mind about how only legal immigrants should be in America to ensure the safety of Americans. In response, the politically correct elite claim Trump is a xenophobe that offends people of Hispanic, Islamic, and Latin American origin. Gingrich claims the origin of the political correctness of elites’ and college campuses in America is the practice and rhetoric of thinking ideologically.
The elite and news media have dominated American discourse with their ideologies, and these ideologies have veiled the important facts in American societal issues. This modern elitist preference of ideology over facts has been revealed in Americans’ misunderstanding of threats from Islamic terrorists. For two decades elites have failed to acknowledge the religious motivation of foreign terrorists. They hide the facts to keep Americans feeding into their ideologies. The ideologies set in place by elites suggest it was racist to analyze and point out the actual religious motivation of the people who were attacking America. Trump continues to defend the First Amendment by going against the ideologies of elite groups.
By going against the ideologies of the elites, Trump inspires the freedom of speech of all Americans without the ideological control of elite groups. Gingrich claims it is essential for Americans to deliberate differences for America to continue to progress. Americans are afraid to speak their minds in the workplace and in academic institutions because of the current politically correct climate. Gingrich shows this truth with statistics and surveys. Political correctness seems to go against the freedoms Americans have in the American system. Discussing different viewpoints freely helps Americans debate honestly and without barriers. Open dialogue is crucial for civil discourse, and it also fights off tyranny.
Tyranny is a scary possibility for America, but if the elite keep choosing the ideas they want to dominate American discourse, it is a possibility. Every American must be able to have their own ideas for the First Amendment to stay effective. Politically correct rhetoric has been controlling young students’ minds since the 1980s on college campuses. The politically correct rhetoric exists because it’s a form of control of elite groups. For example, instead of promoting freedom of speech, the academic elite pushes the philosophy of a French rhetorician, named Jean- Francois Lyotard, onto college students. This philosophy says racist, honest language is just too hurtful for Americans to hear, steals humanity from those victimized by the language, and this language should not be debated in regular American discourse because it offends so many Americans. This idea is basically what colleges call censorship, and it is stopping the debate and maybe overcoming these racial differences. Not only is censorship stunting discourse, but it also allows for violence in contemporary American society. This French philosophy allows for the violent silencing of honest speakers coming to college campuses by labeling them offensive and bad for the humanity of Americans. This silencing demonstrates the mind control of the elite in America. This mind control resembles the elimination of free thought in Orwell’s 1984.
Not only are politically correct elites eliminating free thought, but they are also dangerously creating a space for violence. Politically correct elites have replaced Americans’ right to freedom of speech with their ideologies of what speech should be like in America. Elites have created a space in American society where it is acceptable to combat politically incorrect speech with violence. An extremist named Lennard is labeling Trump supporters as fascists and this is how she justifies her violent behavior towards his supporters. Gingrich encourages Americans to separate words and violence. Americans have the right to voice their opinion, and in no circumstance does their opinion justify violent attacks.
Trump is aware of the violent attacks happening in contemporary America. He plans to hold federal funding from schools that refuse to protect their controversial speakers from violence to further protect the First Amendment. Although protecting Americans’ right to freedom of speech is a tricky legislative issue, the Department of Justice has started to file court cases in which the rights of freedom of speech in students has been infringed. This allows the DOJ to deliberate issues with freedom of speech on college campuses, and influence colleges not to partake in restrictive speech. Gingrich argues that the First Amendment should be protected to ensure open civil dialogue among Americans.
On many college campuses today, freedom of speech is not allowed. Numerous administrative attempts to control ideas and speech on campus are common throughout academia today. However, universities exist to educate students. They also exist for students to discuss their genuine thoughts about certain ideas, and the deliberation of ideas becomes difficult when professors are punishing groups for their political or honest opinions. There shouldn’t be fear of expressing opinions. Fear stunts the opportunity of the innovation of new ideas, and by enforcing fear on students, faculty is unfortunately successful in stopping dialogue about certain important topics such as politics. However, the FIRE organization is working to defend the individual rights of students on college campuses. They are reversing restrictive speech policies on college campuses and spreading awareness about the lack of freedom of speech on many college campuses.
Similar to America, Canada faces restrictions on freedom of expression. But Americans do not face restrictions to the extent that Canadian’s face them. Canadians have the right to freedom of expression, but there are reasonable limitations placed on their freedoms. This means when an infringement happens, the Supreme Court decide whether the violation by the government or other institutions can be justified in a free and democratic society. Canadians are entitled to only certain fundamental freedoms, and the Supreme Court are there to decide whether the expression is justified. The fundamental freedoms they are entitled are “freedom of thought, beliefs, opinions, and expressions.” The freedom of the press and other methods of communication are also protected under Canada’s right to the individual’s right to the fundamental freedom of expression. The Supreme Court determine if certain expressions are justified or acceptable in Canada, but basically, Canadians have freedom of speech.
I think Americans should respect each other’s freedom of speech and not look for ways to retaliate with forms of violence. Trump’s honest defense for the First Amendment might be a step in the right direction for America because it does go against the elite who are trying to control American ideologies. Without the elite’s ideologies that disguise actual facts, Americans can think more genuinely, objectively, and be proud of their own ideas to share. To avoid, mind control, much like in Orwell’s 1984, I think freedom of speech is necessary and should be protected. I’d rather be able to discuss taboos and discuss actual racial issues in America than be afraid to talk about them because of the politically correct propaganda of the elite.
- Ahmad, and Tariq. “Canada.” Limits on Freedom of Expression, 1 June 2019, www.loc.gov/law/help/freedom-expression/canada.php.
- “Campus Rights: What We Defend.” FIRE, www.thefire.org/about-us/campus-rights/.