By Robert Benne
A Cold War witticism had a dissenter in the East remarking that people in communist lands had freedom of speech just like those in the West. The only difference, he said, was that in the West there was freedom after speech. The speaker wasn’t sent to the gulag.
We don’t wind up in the gulag for dissenting from the received wisdom of the progressive left, but we can lose our reputations and jobs. The threat of such loss is real enough to make dissenters think twice about speaking at all. The diminution of freedom after speech tends to inhibit freedom of speech.
Benne lives in Salem.