Friday, March 18, 2016

Free Speech? Come on Marilyn Gladu

It has been broadly reported that Marilyn Gladu recently claimed, when referring to Trump, “the only bright light is that he has sort of restored freedom of speech to America".   The Sarnia Observer

Though I don't disagree with the suggestion that Donald Trump is saying things without thinking or saying things that many, even if they do believe such, would never say in public, let's not equate that, simply, with free speech.

Donald Trump, through his actions, has demonstrated that free speech is not absolute - he has spent considerable time and effort to take away the speech of others.  Trump's threats of lawsuits and actually following through with some are an affront to free speech not an encouragement of it.  Free speech also comes with the rights of others to express contrary views. 

Consider when a joke was made about Donald Trump's inane "birther" claims about Barack Obama.  Donald Trump was offering 5 million dollars for Obama to release his passport and college records.  To show how stupid of a request it was, Bill Maher offered $5 million to the charity of Trump's choice (Maher suggested The Hair Club for Men) if Trump could provide proof that he wasn't "the spawn of his mother having sex with an orangutan". 

Donald Trump, Marilyn Gladu's champion of free speech, sued Bill Maher. (Unsuccessfully, mind you.)

More recently, at Trump rallies, dissenting views are silenced by Trump - people are kicked out.  That's not free speech, that's the desire to say whatever you want without allowing others the opportunity to respond. 

For more on what a free speech advocate would be advised not to do, see The Atlantic: The Lawsuits of Donald Trump.

Marilyn Gladu, you have the right to say whatever you would like.  We have the right to point out when something you say is absurd - that's free speech.  Suing me would suggest you don't think the right of free speech is for everyone.

(Which brings me to this: At some point in the future, I'll tackle Marilyn's views on the separation of church and state, her belief that Muslim immigrants "want to kill everybody" and other public statements she has made that we should all find absolutely appalling.)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

She's an embarrassment to Sarnia Lambton. She's also a liar as displayed during the election campaign in her denial of not knowing what she had said and saying she didn't see posts......