Saturday, November 5, 2022

D.L. Gardner: Freedom of Speech is not a Loser

America is a fighting nation. Candidates promise to fight for constituents. Lawyers promise to fight for clients. Whole organizations have been created to fight for or against whatever. We fight for some things, and we fight against other things. Why? We fight to win!

In politics and culture wars one side always fights against labels. People fight against racism, hate, and violence. Wouldn’t it be better for all of us to fight for unity, harmony, and peace? Common sense tells us fighting will never end racism, hate, or violence. Fighting is the fire that keeps racism, hate, and violence burning. 

Teaching public speaking, I love our lesson on “mindedness” every semester in which I ask students how many are open minded. Normally nearly every student will raise his or her hand. Then I ask how many are close minded. Normally none or one or two will raise their hands while their classmates look on with curiosity. 

Probing deeper, I ask whether students are absolutely convinced about something they believe that they would never stop believing. Then the students begin to think, the very thing I was trying to get them to do. As they dig into their beliefs, they begin to see a number of things they are 100% sure about. As they name their beliefs, they realize everyone is close minded about some things. 

Each of us has the power to change some things. We also have opportunities to influence some things for better or worse, but sometimes we have no power or influence over things we would like to change.

Way out here in the real world most of us have learned to flock together with birds of the same feathers. We still face disagreements and confrontations, but with enough practice we can learn to manage our reactions and build realistic expectations. Few if any politicians or culture warriors project such a lifestyle. Fear or hate has closed their minds to the extent they continually fight a mirror image of themselves.

Social media have hardened people’s positions. Social media are driven by algorithms that censor some voices while amplifying others. This year’s midterm elections will not likely have the impact on American lives that Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter will have. Twitter’s algorithms have amplified woke voices from the LEFT, and smothered or even censored voices from the right. 

Musk bought Twitter last week setting off a firestorm of protests from major news outlets including: Los Angeles Times, NBC News, The Hill, HuffPost, Fortune, CNN, MSN News, USA Today, and These are the first nine items in a Google search for “Musk Twitter.” These news sources lean dramatically to the LEFT, and evidently believe Twitter under Musk will have adverse consequences for their “news” businesses. 

Many hope Musk will tilt the platform back toward the political and cultural center, which would be a radical change. After being a major driving force for the LEFT since its inception, Twitter could level the playing field and offer users a more balanced field of opinions. 

We have been overwhelmed with information for decades. That’s not nearly as frightening as being overwhelmed with information from only one point of view. Freedom of speech is foundational for moderating discourse in a multicultural nation. No one loses when everyone is free to speak.



Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, MS. You may contact him at


Anonymous said...

So true!

Anonymous said...

This is a country of absolute free speech: You are absolutely free to say anything with which the Left agrees.

Anonymous said...

It’s hilarious this is the guy teaching about open mindedness.

Anonymous said...

Even though Musk is losing $4 million a day, I look for him to bounce back.

The Republican companies, and newspapers and universities need to step up to the plate and help him out!

Anonymous said...

Daniel is the most close-minded writers I've ever read. Pot, meet kettle.

Anonymous said...

I stay in Facebook Jail. Like the meme showing the face of its owner, Zuckerberg, says...."You are free to say whatever I want".

Anonymous said...

Free speech didn’t last long on Twitter. Kathy Griffin had her account suspended for mocking Elon. The right wing version of free speech is really just selective banning of left wing speech to keep the safe space the right wing snowflakes need for their egos. The author of this piece needs to take a look in the mirror. The lack of self awareness is troubling and it’s a common theme among alt right hacks.

Kingfish said...

Tell the truth. She got in trouble for impersonating Musk. Twitter has had that rule for quite awhile.

Anonymous said...

@10:37 - what happened to free speech?

Anonymous said...

Truth Social is even more heavily moderated than any mainstream social media platform. Although Trump promised it as a beacon of free speech where posts wouldn’t be censored for political ideology, that turned out to be complete BS as most would expect from a Trump promise. Elon is finding himself in a similar position. Claiming to be a free speech absolutist didn’t even last a week.

Anonymous said...

I’d love if Kingfish would make a post showing all the unapproved comments from this site. You don’t realize how screwed up so many people are until you delve into the depths of the internet. For people who think racism is dead, a quick look through the unapproved comments could be a gut punch of reality for many. Elon is quickly learning that an anything goes platform is just not possible. A place where the sickest minds on the earth share their ideas openly and plot towards their sickening goals without pushback just isn’t going to be beneficial to society.

Anonymous said...

Things have been going dowhill fast online ever since the weirdos realized the boards were just like scribbling on the walls of bathrooom stalls without fear of arrest or stepping in something you don't want to take home on your shoes!

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS