Freedom of expression, Freedom of the press and Freedom from persecution. Pretty much if it has the word ‘Free’ in it Liberals are for it, unless it’s the words ‘Free Guns’. Today however Liberals are mostly against those three things. Much like in the book ‘1984’ liberals appear to have adopted the idea of DOUBLETHINK, where they both agree with free speech but don’t at the same time. We’ve seen this repeat itself many times in the space of a year, and it’s only gotten worse with the ideas of ‘Hate speech’ and ‘Fake news’. Because what is hate speech really? What I consider offensive is completely different to what you consider it to be, it’s totally subjective and could completely change in 10 years. And again what is fake news, isn’t all news somewhat painted by the writer’s bias? Even now I’m showing my bias for freedom of expression (of course some news is fake, but that doesn’t mean we should ban it in my opinion, just be sceptical). Throughout history, we have seen the suppression of strong political views, and what often occurs is revolution and uproar, just look at communism and how the Tsars suppressed liberals and communists alike. You would have thought that with the distribution of information on such a global scale as the internet, people would be more informed and more tolerant. This isn’t the case, the internet is full of groups and bubbles of differing ideologies. They can be as separated as desert islands, and just as hard to reach. When companies and governments take away the ground sat beneath the feet of these ideologies they don’t crumble, they are just unheard.
If we don’t let the opposition speak how can we have balanced discussions. Yes, I totally agree that they are wrong, but simply Silencing them doesn’t help in any way. What actually helps are facts and discussion. Look at Brexit, a silent majority who were afraid to say what they thought. The right feels disenfranchised and That’s the outcome of political polarisation, at some point people pick sides. When Michael Gove said that “people are sick of experts” weirdly enough he was kinda on to something there. People are sick of being pushed down and told off. That’s not a speculation, it’s a wave that’s spreading throughout the western world like a raging torrent.
A key reason why people are so polarised today is down to two major things, those desert islands we mentioned and a media bias which is slowly getting worse. Check out that link, and you’ll notice one thing in particular. There is a distinct lack of right-wing news outlets. If there’s one thing that history tells us, it’s that whenever a political view is suppressed it revolts. And this is exactly what we’ve seen with Brexit, with Trump, and with The chaos currently unfolding in Europe. Politics isn’t about who has the moral high ground it’s about how bad the opposition is. Mud slinging from either side doesn’t lead to fruitful conversations and progress. All it ever leads to is demonising and riots in the streets. When you watch an argument unfold on the internet you usually aren’t watching a clash of ideologies. What you will see is people angrily shouting about how terrible the other side is. Both of them have ideas in their heads about what the others think, they don’t attack the other person’s opinion but the image of their ideology. And when people don’t listen to others that to me is dangerous. I guess you could say that I’m intolerant of others who are intolerant of others. So when you post online “If you voted for <insert controversial topic here> delete me as a friend” I’m sorry to say but you’re a bigot.
Edit: I have had some criticism of my point about the shortage of right wing media, I would like to address this by saying my source of information was inaccurate and misleading. However, that being said my sentiment overall isn’t entirely wrong. The right wing media is often accused of being racist and therefore cannot make a clear point without having this stigma attached to it.