I wish I agreed with your take here, since I’ve pretty much agreed with all of the others. But I fear you’re missing the point. It isn’t that botched ideas and conspiracies get wonderfully drowned out by the “marketplace of ideas”. Just imagine a liberal - for the sake of argument, let’s call this person “me” - arguing in public spaces during the summer of 2020, trying to call attention to riots and property damage and “defund the police” as, perhaps, being counterproductive and antithetical to the greater good.

Would I have wanted to voice said opinion anywhere at that time - in my workplace, on social media, in an educational setting? Would my “bad speech” have been corrected by a slew of “good speech”, teaching me a valuable lesson? No, everybody I fucking know would have called me a racist Trumpy mouth-breathing asshole. I, like many good liberals, kept my mouth shut. I’ve been doing the same about several other issues as well; issues that at one point I would have been very comfortable venturing a public opinion on. In my younger life - the 70s, 80s, 90s - there was a far higher respect for the unconventional opinion than there is today; today even a mainstream-ish opinion about trans issues or the state of Israel or whatever is enough to be blackballed. Someone like JK Rowling or Kyrie Irving with money and fame can probably take it; the rest of us pick our public battles very wisely.

THAT was the gist of The NY Times editorial, and it is a position I couldn’t agree with more. Respectfully, the last two lines of your piece, which I keep looking at in disbelief as I type my comment, don’t have a whole lot of grounding in the reality of both the unjustly “cancelled” and the many who keep their yaps closed publicly for fear of personal repercussions.

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