Free Speech For The Dumb
OK, let’s make this quick. For whatever an opinion on a certain “blog controversy” is worth, lemme just say what I have to say. Here goes.
I believe that society is divided into two kinds of people: geniuses and idiots. Society has geniuses, society has its fair share of idiots. These idiots pay taxes, these idiots are protected by the very rights that are guaranteed to tax-paying, rights-protected geniuses. With that said, even the most idiotic opinions from the most idiotic of people are entitled to have the same space as geniuses to rant, to rave, and to frustrate themselves. It may not be the most sophisticated of opinions. It may not be the most agreeable of opinions. It may be the kind of opinion that would make you say, “Hey, genius!”
I believe that democracy is all about free speech, even for the dumb. The only reason why we’re still relatively free is because each idiot and each genius in this country is entitled to one voice each. The only other reason why we’re still relatively free is because in this country, we still treat the opinions of idiots and geniuses on the same level plane. Not because of educational attainment, not because of wealth, and certainly not because of marketing. Two words: free speech.
Some smartass out there invented wonderful things like common sense, the Constitution, and the inalienable right of freedom of speech. Wonderful, beautiful things that allow all of us to rant and rave and blog. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it would be nothing short of pissing on those rights, and what they stand for, to say that your opinions in a free and open and democratic society count more because you’re a genius. The world, this society, unfortunately, counts idiots among its population and if these idiots have something to say, you freaking listen.
Not because you expect a terrific idea, not because you expect a stroke of genius, or because the idiot is the burden of the genius. The fact to the matter is this: the very same democracy that gives a genius the right to say what he or she has to say is the very same democracy that makes this essential freedom available to idiots.
Thomas Jefferson once said that the tree of life must be constantly replenished with the blood of patriots and tyrants. In the same vein, ladies and gentlemen, the field of our freedoms must be constantly replenished with the bullshit of geniuses and idiots. If a free society cannot defend the right of an idiot to say what he or she has to say within its confines and spaces, then that society must deny that very same right to a genius.
I will not defend what you have to say, but I will defend your right to say it.