Whenever conservatives question stale Regressive talking points they are accused of stifling dissent. Of the five myths discussed in this series–racism, poverty, sexism and environmentalism being the first four–this is the greatest myth of all. Once again, apply the slightest common sense to the Regressive’s accusation and it melts like ice on a blistering sidewalk. 

What represents today’s most popular conservative media outlet? If you answered talk radio, take a gold star. Talk radio is conservative equal time, offsetting the Regressive dominated media. If Conservatives stifle dissent, the greatest vehicle for promoting limited government vanishes in a flash. 

Where would conservatism be if there were no Rush Limbaugh, no Sean Hannity, no Jason Lewis, or no hundreds more conservative radio hosts in local markets from coast to coast? Where would they be without free speech? Conservative talk radio wouldn’t exist and the Reagan Revolution would’ve long since withered away. Free speech kept conservatism viable during Bill Clinton’s early presidency and stoked the 1994 Republican Revolution. 

Conservatives want to quell free speech and stifle dissent? Why not just cut off our right arms? Please. Can’t Regressives do better than that? 

The left’s accusations about stifling dissent arise from the Conservative’s attitude toward content. The right to free speech compels no one to listen; audiences must be earned. Conservatives recognize this fact. But Regressives adamantly declare that their right to speak includes a right to force others to listen. This is the First Amendment, Regressive style. 

Insubordination infuriates Regressives. Thus they despise having free speech employed to challenge their motives and ideologies, such as the Iraq War protests. When those protesters were challenged they accused Conservatives of stifling dissent. Actually, Conservatives were engaging in debate, something most Regressives avoid like the plague. 

The left is where censorship exists in its purest form. The university, long a bastion of leftist elitism, has been home to speech codes for more than 20 years. Any discourse that may offend a protected class is summarily banned. “Hate speech” is the code word on campus. 

Furthermore, it is the left that fosters the legal love affair with “hate crimes” legislation. Crime is crime, and few crimes there are that are born of a desire to do unto your neighbor as you would have them do unto you. Therefore hate crimes are but another means to the same end, that being the abolishment of speech, thought, opinion, belief, or content that does not follow a Regressive doctrine. 

Yet another cause for left-wing resentment toward free speech is their utter failure in exercising it. Air America is exhibit A. The Regressive radio network launched in 2004 to counter conservatism’s talk radio dominance. No problem thus far. However, the network struggled from the womb, went bankrupt in 2006 and ceased operations entirely in 2010. Air America’s leadership blamed the collapse on a stagnant economy. Yet the network never generated a dependable audience or a steady revenue flow, the absence of which is a perfect recipe for bankruptcy. Their flimsy excuse begs the determination that the left’s disdain for talk radio stems from jealousy.

The Regressive playbook is based on blind allegiance to banal talking points. Since such arguments can’t stand scrutiny the left must control the debate. Therefore they accuse conservatives of stifling dissent, the very tactic they deploy at every turn.