Those of us with libertarian tendencies can occasionally become so obsessed with pointing out America’s flaws that we fail to consider the alternative. Sometimes, we get tunnel-vision on issues of property rights, social liberties, and taxation. Sometimes, it seems like we’re actually LESS free than those crazy socialist Europeans and that we should all be lining up to renounce our citizenship and move to Canada (less debt, stronger currency) or Switzerland (better gun rights) or Hong Kong (less regulation, less taxation).
But every once in awhile, you run across a news story that firmly establishes the one area of freedom in which the good ol’ US of A is still #1. Freedom of speech.
Our friends in merry olde England are always among the worst offenders of violating this fundamental natural right. Recently, a 21 year old student was sentenced to 56 days in prison for “offensive tweets.” Allegedly, they were racist. Of course, we don’t really know, because they won’t re-print them.
Most British people I argue with on the Internet regularly defend the practice of outlawing speech that is “offensive.” Most of them don’t seem to appreciate the inherent insanity of having a judge decide what speech is “offensive” and what isn’t. In any case, I would like to take this time to formally warn all of my British colleagues on the Internet: If you ever say anything that I deem offensive, I plan on alerting your government so that you can suffer the full consequences of your actions under the laws you so regularly defend. Luckily for you, I am a white, heterosexual male, so it is unlikely that anything you say about me would POSSIBLY be declared offensive by a English judge. So ask yourselves Brits… do I feel lucky? Well, do ya? Chap!