The Quote by Patrick Henry on Holding Back Opinions
“Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” -Patrick Henry on Holding Back Opinions
Image From: AZ Quotes
This quote by Patrick Henry on holding back opinions might not be as famous as his “give me liberty or give me death” quote, which is one of the greatest rhetorical attacks on tyranny and defenses of fighting that tyranny ever, hence why the Atlas Shrugged Part III team used in it a trailer; it makes you excited to stand up for yourself. But I think that this quote is just as important for modern Americans as the more famous one, if not more so.
That’s because, while America still has to deal with tyranny, as shown by state actions during the Chinese Flu pandemic, the larger issue is not government tyranny but tyranny from one’s peers and other private actors.
As I discussed in my post on social media censorship of the New York Post Hunter Biden story, the government won’t tell you what to say or what you can say (yet), but Twitter will. Like I wrote about in my post on free speech on college campuses, the government won’t tell college students what to say, but tyrannical and leftist administrators and radical college students certainly will. And, of course, the government isn’t going to fire you for saying something offensive; but your company will, usually at the behest of your coworkers.
And that is why this quote by Patrick Henry on holding back opinions is so important. You can’t back down or refuse to say what you think simply because some leftist imbecile will by “offended” by what you said. Don’t worry about those snowflakes and their safe spaces; they don’t matter at all.
What does matter, as said in this quote by Patrick Henry on holding back opinions, is that you speak your opinions as you see fit.
Read what he said closely. In his view, holding back your opinions out of fear of being offensive is tantamount to treason, both towards your country and towards Heaven.
Why did he consider doing so treason to Heaven and Earth?
Well, I think the heaven aspect is obvious; lying is a sin and hiding your opinions is tantamount to lying. It’s morally wrong and is, as such, treason against God.
Why why does this quote by Patrick Henry on holding back opinions say that it is treason against your country to not speak your mind? That’s a bit harder to answer, but I think that it boils down to the deleterious effects for a nation if its citizens self-censor and don’t share their opinions.
Just think, where would our economic system be today if Adam Smith hadn’t wanted to offend mercantilists by writing The Wealth of Nations? How different would America be if John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton didn’t write The Federalist Papers because they self-censored in order to avoid offending the men behind The Anti-Federalist Papers (men like Patrick Henry)? Would Britain be better or worse off if Winston Churchill had tried to avoid offending the Nazi-supporting aristocracy by not attacking Hitler and the Nazi regime?
Sure, I cherry-picked those examples. In all three of those cases it is undeniable (to reasonable people, at least) that it was good for the Federalists, Churchill, and Adam Smith to speak their minds. There are many idiots out there that we wish would just stop talking. As Mark Twain (apocryphally) said, “It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and prove it.”
But I think that’s the wrong message. We should be supportive of the view expressed in this quote by Patrick Henry on holding back opinions instead because the negative externalities of not speaking your mind are far, far worse than the negative effects of speaking too soon or not at all. Self-censorship, the idea attacked by this quote by Patrick Henry on holding back opinions, is a force that drains society of potentially beneficial new ideas. Bad ideas will generally be quickly dismissed. Good ideas will rise to the top.
But both are free speech and need to be defended and encouraged as they are what makes our nation a better place That is why it is treason to not speak your mind.
Read, understand, and share this quote by Patrick Henry on holding back opinions. It is crucial to our nation. Americans must once again feel free to say what’s on their mind.
Right now, because of our toxic cancel culture, many people feel afraid to say what they think. They live in fear that some leftist tyrant will try to silence them by bringing up something in the past that they have done wrong, or call them a “something -ist.” That’s sad, wrong, and evil.
So go out and speak your mind. Say what you think about the riots. Say what you think about Hunter Biden’s crack addiction. Say what you think about abortion. Don’t be afraid to stand up to the leftist tyrants and challenge their narrative. Call them out for defending criminals and rioters. Attack them for normalizing pedophilia. And remember that there is no possible compromise with evil. So speak your mind and say what you’re thinking. That’s the point of this quote by Patrick Henry on holding back opinions.