• "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Evelyn Beatrice Hall (1903) … although often attributed to Voltaire

Anti-Woke” rhetoric has become the centerpiece of conservative politics and given license for subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle, demonization of and discrimination targeting non-straight (LGBTQ) communities, controversial literature, religious & racial tolerance, democratic institutions, and other liberal causes.  

Its advocates have made traction, justifiably pointing to six decades by progressives and many, primarily Democrats, on the Left successful efforts to silence conservative viewpoints, most notably on college and school campuses and in local communities by intimidating educational administrations and civic leaders to cancel or ban individuals from speaking or holding peaceful rallies espousing causes which conflict with liberal ideologies and agendas. 

The warranted backlash by conservative voices was inevitable.  Anti-Woke politicians and talking heads on Fox and other right-of-center, conservative cable and print media pounced on this hypocrisy from the Left.  Unfortunately, books being banned; attacks on academic freedom; regulating the content of history, health & sex education; and discouraging the development of critical thinking skills have become casualties of such benignly-named legislation as “parental rights” bills which have taken aim at not only the Left’s cancel culture but also ill-conceived solutions in search of non-existent problems.

Both liberal and conservative activists and legislators have either forgotten or choose to ignore the reality, Freedom of speech is a two-edged sword

  • While entitling all individuals the unfettered right to publicly advocate positions and ideologies they embrace without fear of retribution (other than if they incite violence or unlawful conduct or represents actual threats or intimidation);
  • It also imposes a sacred obligation on individuals to respect those same rights when exercised by others, even when the content being expressed is repulsive to their core beliefs.  

Elected officials across the ideological spectrum must cease politicizing Constitutional liberties for personal or partisan gain and openly embrace everyone’s right of free speech and actively encourage their constituents to respect those rights when used by people with whom they may disagree.  

Speech is only free when it is free for everyone, irrespective of political, religious, social, or other beliefs.