In a great piece titled Why The Right Is Wrong, Azadeh Ensha of the Huffington Post nicely addresses some of the reasons why Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should be allowed to speak at Columbia University. No one is saying that they agree with him. What we are saying is that if we don’t allow people, anyone, the freedom of speech, then we have become what we are fighting against.
One of the most important things about free speech is that it must be free for even those with ideas you do not like. This is something that liberals forget as often as conservatives. If you are truly liberal and open, then you must allow people who don’t agree with you to have their say and hold their own ideas. If you do not, then you are just as closed minded as those you protest against.
I like to say that I am a liberal, but I am a liberal in the true sense of the word. I pull my ideas from all types of sources. I am neither Democrat, Republican, Independent or Whatever. I am liberal with a small “l” not a capital “L”. I am that way because I believe the power and the choices should be made each time on the basis of each idea – not along a party line.
And I believe that everyone has a right to speak. Just as everyone has a right to not-listen or to turn off a television. But I should not have the right to stop you from listening.