I've certainly tried to understand the progressive mindset, but despite my best efforts I just don't get it. What's behind all of this "political correctness?" What is to be gained from putting all these restrictions on free speech? I know that I shouldn't put too much into this, but the constant assault on free speech is, to me, very problematic. I've always thought that the best way to root out those whose speech is offensive is to let those people speak. For the most part people who are idiots are very easily identified when they open their mouth and foul the air. As Mark Twain said, " It's better to be thought an idiot than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."
There is a lot of ground to plow here, but I'll just refine myself to the best. I think that restricting free speech is tantamount to destroying the basis of democracy. When the government is allowed to restrict speech, or to pick who can speak and who can't, we're no longer truly free. There is a lot of speech I find objectionable. But I never will accept that the speech that is objectionable should be restricted. Expose it to the air. Allow the people who are asses to expose themselves as asses. Since when has speech become fatal?
If someone says something that pisses you off, engage them in debate. In my classes, I tell my students that it's not my job to tell them what to think. It's my job to tell them how to think. What they think is their business. If they learn to objectively research their point of view they are now a critical thinker. And that's what being an American has always been about. Don't allow someone to tell you what to think. You're an individual. Arrive at a decision because you researched and thought about it and this is the best conclusion you can reach. However, remember, you can change your conclusion as you learn more. Be open to new information.
Anyone who tries to tell you what to think is anti-free speech. As a police officer I stood between KKK members and anti-KKK demonstrators. The toughest part was keeping them apart. The only group that everyone hated was the police. But it was important that the KKK have its say. Speak out loud and allow people to judge what you say. The first amendment must protect the most offensive speech, no matter how offensive it is, or it's just a bunch of words.
Let me take on one of my pet peeves, "hate crimes." I've seen homicides and lots of death in my life and I'm appalled by gratuitous violence. I don't ever remember, while at a homicide scene, thinking to myself, did the killer really hate the person that was murdered? I'm convinced that if you kill someone, you don't like them. Hate crime legislation seeks to get into the mind of the killer to find out what they thought. I knew that if the killer hated the victim because of race, ethnicity, religion, or other factors, the victim wasn't more dead. Take it from me, dead is dead. My objection is that "Hate Crime" legislation criminalizes thought. Somehow if someone is killed because of race or other factors it's worse. No it isn't. They're dead. That's horrific. Period. "Hate Crime" legislation is feel-good BS. Nothing more.
Progressives want to tell us what to think. When we allow them to do this we allow them to control us.