An Open Letter to my Fellow Liberals

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Last night, a political rally for Donald Trump was cancelled in Chicago over safety concerns. This is not okay.

I've heard the arguments that Trump has set the tenor for these rallies, and encouraged violence against protesters. That his speech is harmful, encouraging xenophobia, racism and violence. That he's responsible for the escalating violence at his events, because you reap what you sow. And those arguments are correct on every point.

And they're also completely irrelevant.

Just because I disagree with someone does not mean they should not be allowed to speak. Just because someone's ideas offend my sensibilities on a fundamental level does not mean they should not be allowed to express them. Just because someone lies their ass off whenever they open their mouth does not mean they should be shut down.

The ability to compete in the marketplace of ideas is a fundamental American value. The ability to assemble within the bounds of the law is guaranteed by our Constitution. And it is beneath us, SO FAR BENEATH US, to try and prevent someone from doing these things because their message or their person is offensive.

People have agency. They can choose to engage in violence, xenophobia, and racism. Or they can choose to reject those ideas. The very idea that a group of people should be able to prevent someone from expressing their ideas in order to protect the audience from themselves offends me so much I can't even express it.

Trump is a bigot, a misogynist, the very epitome of unearned privilege. He's incredibly manipulative, tapping into the very real economic anger and veiled racism of lower and middle class white people in order to feed his own ravenous ego. He's an embarrassment, to our country, to our political system, to our population. He's not qualified for the job he wants, not even on his best day with a whole team of experts at his beck and call. He's a sociopath, who will drive our country into a new era of Jim Crow (or worse) if he's elected.

And he has the right to assemble and express his ideas. 

Preventing him from doing so is a cure worse than the disease.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Janiece said...

*TONG!*

That particular sexist insult is not permitted here. Especially from an Anonymous commenter. Try again if you wish, but only if you mind your manners.