There was an era in which Democrats extolled the word “tolerance.” Did it get the same treatment then as it does today? Whatever the case, there's been a remarkable word-usage change on the Left Side of the Aisle–the word isn't being used. This is the same for the earlier promotion of the term “freedom of expression.” In some circles today, freedom of speech may be the last thing to be permitted. The term “free speech” could mean “misinformation,” “disinformation,” or “malinformation”– information that is correct but could create an unintended result. The most troubling aspect of freedom of speech, according to certain experts, is that it's actually the main enemy of freedom of speech. Figure that one out.
Joe Rogan, a self-confessed member of the Left, has noticed this shift. In Tuesday's episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan was impressed by his guest (and mixed martial arts [MMA] fighter) Jake Shields. “I always considered myself liberal. My parents were hippies… [T]here's a difference between what ‘liberal' meant then and what it includes now… It includes now people that want censorship. It includes now people that are intolerant [of] other people's ideas. And people that think it's fine to insult people and to be…really aggressive and [terrible] to people online.”
Jake had noticed it, too. “I'm an independent… The current liberals have turned really weird… They seem a lot more intolerant… [They'll] physically attack you.”
“Yes. There's a lot of that, too,” Joe responded.
Jake has been there. “That's where I first started following politics, when I was at Berkeley. Antifa were there…beating people up over [Milo Yiannopoulos's] speech.”
“Antifa…got tolerated by people on the Left,” Joe stated.
It's thuggery. “They thought of [Antifa] almost like the thug branch of the Left… Because people were so upset that Trump was president, they kind of tolerated a lot of this that I don't think they would've tolerated in a more rational, sane time.”
We certainly crossed a terrifying point with the introduction of “Punch a Nazi.”
“Who gets to decide who the Nazi is?” Joe asked. “If you're talking about Hitler, yeah, go punch Hitler. … But you're not talking about a Nazi. You're talking about someone who might vote for Trump.” In the past, Joe became something of a “Nazi” himself–celebrities on the Left came out in support of attempts to have his account removed from Spotify. They were not tolerant of what he had to say.
Based on the events of the last couple of years, current “tolerance” allows for only what one side of the debate considers to be the truth. Anything else is “hate speech.” So, we live in a unique time. A few years ago, the concept of America was bound up with the concept of freedom of speech. The country was awash with common values, the most important of which was “I disagree with you, but I will fight for your right to speak your mind.” In reality, it's indisputable to say that we shouldn't lose freedom of speech, because if we do, we lose America.