home Editorial Freedom of expression….so long as its accepted – An editorial by Chris McCahill

Freedom of expression….so long as its accepted – An editorial by Chris McCahill

Recently a video surfaced on social media of a leader of the alt-right being punched in the face whilst giving an interview during protests on the inauguration day of Donald Trump. However, what struck me most was the huge number of people on social media whom seemed to condone the act simply because they didn’t agree with his controversial views. To me it seemed very hypocritical, the very people whom would claim to open minded, tolerant and liberal would condone violence against another person simply because they didn’t agree with them. Does he not, as a human being, the same as everyone else, have the right to have an opinion and to express that opinion? Of course, his views may be derogatory and provoke a reaction but to go to the extent of committing acts of violence or assaulting someone surely that cannot justify the violence? For then one would be condoning the censorship of a person or their views. To me it would seem wiser and far more to debate and dismantle such views through logic, moral and well-reasoned arguments as to resort to violence would suggest your own views are not strong enough to stand on their own merits, it also legitimises violence as a political tactic or weapon. In which case, you may simply end up undermining your own cause and strengthening the one you seek to defeat or overcome.

You may completely disagree with me, but what I will ask, “What if it had been the other way around? What if an alt right leader punched someone on the left for expressing their views? Would then violence be acceptable?”                                                                                                                                                       For me if you’re looking to defeat an illogical or irrational view or argument, the pen is mightier than the fist.