Speak Out in 2021

 

As the train wreck of 2020 steams full speed into what we have every reason to expect will be the train wreck of 2021, I’ve been thinking about how I want to apply my limited time and energy in the new year. There are certainly plenty of issues that warrant attention. After all, no problems that dogged us last year have been solved; none has even grown smaller, and a brand new set of problems is scheduled to take office in just a couple of weeks, promising a tsunami of bad judgment and its inevitable consequences.

I’ve resolved to do my best to focus most of my attention on one issue, something I consider to be of paramount importance; more important even than our foolish panic over COVID, or the frankly idiotic trans movement, or the viciousness of Antifa and hateful dishonesty of BLM, or the barely concealed self-loathing of climate catastrophism.

I want to focus on free speech.

Our ability to freely debate everything, to challenge every orthodoxy and express every view, is as close to sacred as any principle of American self-governance. That ability is under assault from a variety of powerful institutions, from tech giants to mainstream media to schools and universities to, if progressives get their way, government itself. This desire to tell us what we can say and, even worse, to compel us to say things we don’t believe, continues to gain supporters on the left, people who seem to honestly believe that there is a virtue in silencing voices of which they don’t approve. Combating this distinctly un-American intolerance for dissent and, ultimately, the right of conscience is, I believe, the most important single battle to be fought and won if we wish to prevail in any of the others.

Of course, having the ability to speak freely is of little value if we don’t use it. That duty falls to all of us, and I think those of us who value freedom are running out of time. Speak up. Find platforms that don’t censor your content or throttle its distribution, that don’t flag your posts as “wrong-think,” that don’t threaten to delete your account if you express an unapproved idea. Find those platforms and then speak out. America – normal, sane America – is underrepresented in the public square.

Speak your mind while we are still free to do so.

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  1. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    My focus is building local community, specifically in my local church.

    If The Tyrants really do come to power, we need local communities to be strong. They are so brittle right now. I feel that’s where my attention must go.

    • #1
  2. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    I am considering tossing in the towel. This fight is over. We lost. Sadly we seem to have lost because we wanted to be nice more than fight for what is right.

    • #2
  3. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    I am considering tossing in the towel. This fight is over. We lost. Sadly we seem to have lost because we wanted to be nice more than fight for what is right.

    Yeah, but that’s kind of your brand, man (or woman).

    • #3
  4. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    I am considering tossing in the towel. This fight is over. We lost. Sadly we seem to have lost because we wanted to be nice more than fight for what is right.

    Was it over when the Chomskyites bombed Bar Harbor? No! 

    The fight is never over. But I’m confused by the idea that we wanted to be more nice than fight – wasn’t the appeal of Trump supposed to be the fact that he did fight? He wasn’t nice? The last four years were just Jeb with a spray-tan?

    Henry’s right: free speech is the hill on which we should plant the standard, and it contains a multitude of issues that reveal the left’s poisons and smelly orthodoxies. And most people say it’s spinach and to hell with it. 

    • #4
  5. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    I am considering tossing in the towel. This fight is over. We lost. Sadly we seem to have lost because we wanted to be nice more than fight for what is right.

    Was it over when the Chomskyites bombed Bar Harbor? No!

    The fight is never over. But I’m confused by the idea that we wanted to be more nice than fight – wasn’t the appeal of Trump supposed to be the fact that he did fight? He wasn’t nice? The last four years were just Jeb with a spray-tan?

    Henry’s right: free speech is the hill on which we should plant the standard, and it contains a multitude of issues that reveal the left’s poisons and smelly orthodoxies. And most people say it’s spinach and to hell with it.

    I think the point might be that Trump was largely alone in fighting, at least within the government circles. And in the end, even along with all the obstruction and obfuscation, many of those same people also let him be – perhaps even wanted him to be – run over by election fraud.

    • #5
  6. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    I have to constantly remind myself that local is better.

    BUT now that I have grand children, school choice is both local and macro. 

    • #6
  7. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    I am considering tossing in the towel. This fight is over. We lost. Sadly we seem to have lost because we wanted to be nice more than fight for what is right.

    I thought you did that a couple of years ago.

     

    • #7
  8. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    My focus is on whatever catches my eye at the moment.

    • #8
  9. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    I parted ways with my professional association about 20 minutes ago, over the “diversity and inclusion” issue. Find some free speech:

    https://rushbabe49.com/2021/01/05/after-30-years-parting-ways-with-the-institute-for-supply-management/

    I’m old and retired now, so I don’t have to pay $300 per year to listen to that garbage. Or to be invited to participate in the “Talent Diversity” survey either. I have a post in mind, for the next couple of days, with a working title of “Diversity…Divides”. I intend to make my personal blog as incendiary as I can make it. So far, no consequences from the WordPress folks yet. I always love new Ricochet friends to follow my blog, which also has some pretty fair photography posts.

    • #9
  10. EODmom Coolidge
    EODmom
    @EODmom

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    I am considering tossing in the towel. This fight is over. We lost. Sadly we seem to have lost because we wanted to be nice more than fight for what is right.

    Was it over when the Chomskyites bombed Bar Harbor? No!

    The fight is never over. But I’m confused by the idea that we wanted to be more nice than fight – wasn’t the appeal of Trump supposed to be the fact that he did fight? He wasn’t nice? The last four years were just Jeb with a spray-tan?

    Henry’s right: free speech is the hill on which we should plant the standard, and it contains a multitude of issues that reveal the left’s poisons and smelly orthodoxies. And most people say it’s spinach and to hell with it.

    I continue to believe it starts with refusing to use euphemisms for falsehoods. No more fake language and sentences that just fill up white space. Fake news – lies. 

    • #10
  11. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    I parted ways with my professional association about 20 minutes ago, over the “diversity and inclusion” issue. Find some free speech:

    https://rushbabe49.com/2021/01/05/after-30-years-parting-ways-with-the-institute-for-supply-management/

    I’m old and retired now, so I don’t have to pay $300 per year to listen to that garbage. Or to be invited to participate in the “Talent Diversity” survey either. I have a post in mind, for the next couple of days, with a working title of “Diversity…Divides”. I intend to make my personal blog as incendiary as I can make it. So far, no consequences from the WordPress folks yet. I always love new Ricochet friends to follow my blog, which also has some pretty fair photography posts.

    Yeah, I can relate. I saw in this morning’s Air Force Times news feed that the Secretary of the Air Force, USAF Chief of Staff and Air Force Chief of Space Operations have ordered commanders to review “every visual symbol, turn of phrase, and other form ‘of unit recognition and identity’ to make sure they’re in line with the Department of the Air Force’s effort to increase inclusion among its ranks.”

    This is just another in a long line of moronic directives that have come down from our military’s “leadership”. Since I’m in my 70s I make no claim of knowing what may be going through young men’s minds these days. However, if the same nonsense had been going on when I was young, I would never have even contemplated entering the military.

    • #11
  12. CRD Member
    CRD
    @CRD

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    My focus is on whatever catches my eye at the moment.

    Look, squirrel!🤣

    • #12
  13. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    My focus is on whatever catches my eye at the moment.

    Yeah, I tend to do that too. And it’s great: we need all the different kinds of conservative activists, the ones who are doggedly single-issue, the ones who react to everything that seems wrong to them, the ones who are terse, humorous, long-winded, aggressive, polite, etc.

    Thousand points of light, and all that.

    • #13
  14. Marjorie Reynolds Coolidge
    Marjorie Reynolds
    @MarjorieReynolds

    Stina (View Comment):

    My focus is building local community, specifically in my local church.

    If The Tyrants really do come to power, we need local communities to be strong. They are so brittle right now. I feel that’s where my attention must go.

    You’re applying the Benedict Option, good for you. I think it’s very important. I’m trying to find more ways to do the same here.

    • #14
  15. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    The most important issue is Free Speech: totally agree. As long as we have this, other issues are solvable. If not, not.

    And free speech in America is currently on attack from multiple directions at once, as I discussed in my post The Multi-Front Attack on Free Speech.

     

    • #15
  16. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    The right retreated from that hill years ago.

    You aren’t getting it back.

    • #16
  17. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Guruforhire (View Comment):

    The right retreated from that hill years ago.

    You aren’t getting it back.

    It’s been pointed out to me elsewhere that I’m too quick to be critical of those who appear to be throwing in the towel. So I’m going to try really hard not to do that.

    So you can imagine me sitting here like Samuel L. Jackson at the end of Pulp Fiction, explaining that I’m trying to be better. Really, I am.

    • #17
  18. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    David Foster (View Comment):

    The most important issue is Free Speech: totally agree. As long as we have this, other issues are solvable. If not, not.

    And free speech in America is currently on attack from multiple directions at once, as I discussed in my post The Multi-Front Attack on Free Speech.

     

    Before free speech we need freedom of conscience. Proud Boys Terrio? was arrested for burning a flag. It would have been no problem except for the presumed hatred that he bore in his mind.

    • #18
  19. Steven Galanis Coolidge
    Steven Galanis
    @Steven Galanis

    Henry, discovering Ricochet last October was a blessing. The first post that I read on here was submitted by you to the Ricochetti last October 14th titled “Our Safely Circumscribed Future” . It was a gateway to clear, insightful, and even witty conversation that I would soon learn was available in buckets from scores of members.

    Here, @Flickers points out the connection between free speech and freedom of conscience. I’ve got another illustration.

    I have never been a sign guy around election time. Maybe, in part, due to a lack of pathos and maybe to some degree, because it’s not my style.

    However in 2020, I was motivated but fearful, because I live in a majority black suburb next to D.C.

    I contacted the local Trump campaign office by email to request a Trump Pence sign with no frills (“Just words, please, no graphics!).

    Of course, I could have gotten a sign from anywhere, but being that i also wanted to make a symbolic campaign contribution as an act of penitence, i felt this was the way to go.

    I never heard from them, but I was not deeply disappointed. I didn’t want to beef up my homeowners insurance policy for protection against vandalism, that the sign would have compelled.

    Today, I ordered a red “Make America Great Again” mask from Etsy. I can find one in black and white, but that seems less risky.

    Still, however, only red will put more pep in my mask wearing steps!

     

     

     

    • #19
  20. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Embolden and improve your freedom of conscience by taking a Hillsdale College free online course. You can find the complete catalog at Hillsdale.edu. 

    • #20
  21. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    People should probably start using a VPN and anonymous gift cards for much online activity.

    Note: buying gift cards at Costco or through your Amazon account, is not anonymous.

    • #21