The traditional American notion of almost absolute freedom of speech may have run its course.
Journalist and academic Damon Linker says some Americans may be having second thoughts about what we’ve come to accept as free speech. In this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, he talks to Jeff Schechtman about his recent analysis that found free speech is under siege from all sides.
Linker notes what’s happening on college campuses, where arguments over diversity are polarizing students and faculty, and, on the political right, where state power is being marshaled to suppress “unpatriotic” speech. The result, according to Linker, is a potential constriction of public dialogue and a clear decline in democratic values.
Civics classes once taught that untrammeled freedom of speech would allow the truth to triumph. But does this work when propaganda, multiplied many fold by social media, drowns out other voices in a blare of noise?
In his conversation with Schechtman, Linker digs deep into the many complexities of the issue and what the current situation portends for the future of democracy.