What happened to the rich American tradition of messy free speech? Where is the dialog? What happened to dissent, to holding a minority view? Why is there such a cost of speaking out, of not being politically correct (as some small businesses have found out)?
The authors call this present atmosphere “end of discussion.” Rather than defending one's right to declare opposing opinions, the authors write that the atmosphere today is, “I disapprove of what you say, so I will explore various ways of punishing you for saying it.” (11) And we live at a time when just about anything we say can be offensive to someone. It's a time of double standards for rhetoric. There are different rules for liberals than conservatives.
The authors explore how even private sayings can become public outrage, especially with the force of social media today. Then they give examples of how the left orchestrates the outrage, lots of examples. They look at the current situation on college campuses, womanhood and feminism, firearms and gun control, humor, and other topics.
This book is openly anti-liberal. I was glad to read that the authors admitted that the right does the same kind of thing but they are just not as good at it as the left is. Nonetheless, I am just amazed at the misinformation that is put out by the liberal side. I am so glad these authors are setting many records straight.
If you think it has gotten crazy out there, reading this book will convince you you're right. The cost of dissent has become enormous. The unhealthy trend toward silencing the opposition has become an accepted way of life. As the authors write, “...the price for holding mainstream beliefs is getting awfully high.” (230) Tolerance is no longer a two way street.
So, what can we do? The authors admit that some of these problems cannot be uprooted in three easy steps. (261) They do give some suggestions in their closing chapter.
You may have heard the news stories of small businesses being sued for declining service on the basis of freedom of religion. That is only the tip of the iceberg. Read this book, and find out what's really going on.
Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson are Fox News contributors and writers. Ham serves as a contributing editor to HotAir.com. Benson is political editor at Townhall.com. The pair has collaborated on a number of projects.
Crown Forum, 304 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.