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George Washington on Freedom of Speech

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George Washington’s Quote on Freedom of Speech:

“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
― George Washington on freedom of speech

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My Analysis of the quote by George Washington on Freedom of Speech:

I think this quotation by George Washington on freedom of speech is important because it shows the fear with which the Founders regarded limiting rights. Many then and now what to restrict the rights of the average person. Freedom of speech is often quickly restricted when tyrants are able to restrict it.

Because of that, it has to be defended. It can’t be surrendered in the name of limiting hate speech. It can’t be limited because some speech makes some people uncomfortable. We should always strive to speak decently and respectfully with one another.

But, as George Washington points out, the right to free speech should never be allowed to atrophy. It is far too important. If we do allow it to atrophy, then soon we will no longer be able to verbally defend ourselves.

And to me, that is why it is so sad that Americans are no longer standing up to defend free speech. On college campuses across the nation radical students advocate for placing arbitrary and authoritarian limits on free speech. Similarly, politicians on both sides of the aisle aim to hinder reporting and speech that they disagree with. Republicans slam news sites like CNN for “fake news.” Sometimes that news is fake and they are right to criticize it. Other times, they are only using the fake news moniker to strike back at stories that they disagree with.

On the other side of the aisle, some Democrats attack any speech they disagree with by labeling it “hate speech.'” By calling it that they hope to shut down any of the debates brought up by so called “hate speech.” In some cases they are right and the speech they call “hate speech” is truly evil. Sadly, however, they often just label speech “hate speech” so that they don’t have to have a thoughtful debate about it.

I think that part of what is being said by George Washington on freedom of speech is that we shouldn’t label any speech “fake news” or “hate speech.” Instead, we should have thoughtful and respectful debates about all ideas brought up.

Through doing so we can preserve the wonderful American tradition of freedom of speech while also making sure that lies and racist drivel are regarded as such.

Remember, good ideas and bad ideas are both protected by freedom of speech. While you might disagree with what someone says, they still have a right to say it. Always remember that and always defend free speech. If we don’t listen to the advice in this quote by George Washington on freedom of speech, then soon we will be in the sorry state that he warns about; dumb and unable to defend ourselves. Like George Washington says, we will be sheep ready to be slaughtered.

By: Gen Z Conservative

Image at top from Historic City


Check out more great quotes from George Washington on Freedom of Speech here:

George Washington was an astute politician that knew how to impart good advice on Americans. Read here about his thoughts on preventing war:

And read about the sad state of free speech on college campuses here:

Good ideas and bad ideas are protected by free speech:

Read more quotes by the Founding Fathers on Freedom of speech here:

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