Free speech is as fundamental to democracy as the right to vote because it preserves the free flow of ideas necessary for wide-spread political participation. To this end, it is not enough to reject censorship. The principles behind freedom of speech require us to support an environment that encourages all Americans to openly voice their opinions.
When A&E suspended Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson for expressing his sincere beliefs about sex and marriage, it undermined the free flow of ideas and chilled the right to free speech. Seeing someone come under attack for merely voicing an opinion puts pressure on the like-minded to stay quiet; and silencing a group of people, whatever their inclination, is never good for a democratic government. Continue reading