Thomas Sowell

The listeners have spoken but the politicians want to overrule them. Some call it "hush Rush" legislation.

"Fairness" here, as in so many other contexts, means nothing more and nothing less than the exercise of arbitrary power by third parties, since everyone has a different definition of what "fairness" means.

Free speech is not a luxury but a necessity if we are to hear the various sides of issues before we decide what to do.

It is not a question of Pete Wilson's rights or even of the rights of all the people who speak or write on public issues. Such people are not even ten percent of the population and probably not even one percent.

Their individual rights matter. But among the pressing problems of our time, their interests alone rank far down the list.

Free speech rights exist for the whole society, not for writers and speakers. When you say that we can hear only what a growing number of censors want us to hear, you are condemning us to grope in the dark when making all sorts of decisions -- about ourselves, our families and the future of our society.

Whether Pete Wilson's opinion was right or wrong is a very small issue compared to blinding us all for the sake of political correctness. Can we talk? Apparently, for some people, the answer is "No."

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate