Pssst, I’m left wing and support free speech too.

People get their back up when they see the likes of Milo Yiannopoulos voicing his opinion, and honestly, I get why. He isn’t exactly my cup of tea either, in fact, I’d go as far as to say I’d rather wallow in a pile of my own excrement than contribute to his monthly pay check. That however doesn’t change the fact that he is entitled to voice his opinion and it also doesn’t change the fact that I will never support shutting down a speaker regardless of their agenda or view point. Healthy debate is how well rounded opinions flourish, if you can’t defend your opinions in a debate then maybe you should step back and think about them more carefully.
I hardly think my opinion is new or revolutionary and I know for a fact that I’m not the only ‘lefty snowflake’ that feels this way. So why then are we branded as haters of free speech by the likes of Milo? I imagine it’s to do with our love of a good protest. The left has an affinity for standing nonchalantly with a well crafted pun on a piece of cardboard, firmly surrounded by an echo chamber of older hippies and high as a kite students, we’ve sometimes even got a bit wild and started a fire pit. I’m not knocking this, I too love a good protest but what about if we handled things a bit differently? Instead of resisting universities bringing in controversial speakers, we encourage it. I know it sounds mad but hear me out. It’s pretty chilly outside and standing in the cold for hours while someone is inside preaching to the choir isn’t my idea of fun. So, what if we facilitate a debate instead? I’ve always been a firm believer that if you give an idiot a platform sooner or later they will out themselves as such. It’s the driving of opinions underground and making them taboo that makes them so appealing. I’d wager that there is a hefty number of speakers like Milo who have a following that is made up people thinking they’re somewhat edgy being fans of such a taboo person. So instead of doing something ridiculous like starting a fire on a campus, getting violent and being awfully mad that there’s someone on campus who has different opinions to you have you thought of perhaps offering a counter speaker? Surely giving someone both sides of the argument is better than them only getting one side of the argument and seeing the alternative view point being represented by a bunch of melodically swaying, sign holding, fire starting , shouty people outside?

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