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Letter: Free speech isnt under attack by those who prefer polite diplomacy
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After reading Dick Biggs’ recent letter, I’d say it looks like conservatives are going all out to get their party’s traditional talking points into this paper. His message seems intended to convince readers that conservatives and Christians are “victims” whose freedom of speech is under attack on all fronts. It’s a false narrative. Perhaps the best metric by which to measure this allegation is to look at which party controls Congress. The “victims” are running the show.

Biggs claims conservatives have been called Islamophobes, tagged as homophobes, branded as racists, pegged as heartless, cast as unsympathetic, viewed as judgmental and intolerant and accused of waging a war on women. Free speech or not, some of those charges have merit, and wallowing in them does not make Biggs or adherents of his ideology victims simply because they disagree with widely held political concepts. Free speech includes the right to disagree, but disagreement does not automatically make you a victim. Further, free speech includes the right to speak in diplomatic terms (what Biggs calls “politically correct”) or not to speak at all.

Biggs introduces a foreign transplant from Australia named Nick Adams who has written a lovely little book that will save America from political correctness, which apparently poses an imminent threat. Biggs suggests Adams has a “strategy for retaking America.” I wonder who he intends to retake America from? Is he going to save us from the evils of self-imposed verbal diplomacy? Gee, I feel safer already.

Biggs closes by suggesting many Americans are destroying this country because they have no common sense, and adds if they can’t change their hearts to match his position on the “exceptional heritage of our homeland” then “please move to another country.” That’s a bold statement. His free speech has been heard and his opinion duly noted.

Politically speaking, he’s a bag of hot air. It seems to me this notion he’s put forward of rebellion against “political correctness” is a designer political issue intended to assist Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Trump is not known for being tactful or P.C. when he speaks. He once referred to Republican debate co-host Megyn Kelly with the comment “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, -blood coming out of her ... wherever.” Some people were offended by that remark.

Thus it appears Biggs is trying to use the notion of rebellion against political correctness to reframe Trump’s coarse speaking style as “trendy.” Back in the old days, we used to call that putting lipstick on a pig.

All of this might be unremarkable if not for the fact Biggs topped it off by inviting half the population to leave the country. The good news is our country is still big enough and progressive enough to accommodate divergent opinions, even if they might come with tags and labels Biggs doesn’t like. Let’s keep it that way.

Bruce Vandiver