Fewer and fewer people seem to understand the significance and importance of the freedom of speech these days: the avalanche of criticism that was heaped upon my colleague Pamela Geller for our event in defense of the freedom of speech in Garland, Texas last May demonstrated that. People who should have known better, including Donald Trump, Bill O’Reilly, and Laura Ingraham, among many others, rushed to denounce Pamela Geller for offending Muslims by holding a Muhammad cartoon contest. The importance of standing up against violent intimidation and refusing to be bullied was lost on them.
And now this from Howard Dean. It sounds high-minded, but it is actually nothing less than totalitarian. Who will be entrusted with the responsibility of deciding what speech is respectful of others, and what speech is disrespectful? That individual or group will have dictatorial power over the rest of us. And that dictatorship is coming, courtesy of people like Howard Dean.